Citation
Downtown area plan, 1986

Material Information

Title:
Downtown area plan, 1986
Creator:
The Denver Partnership, Inc.
Community Planning and Development, City and County of Denver
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
City and County of Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English

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Subjects / Keywords:
City planning
Spatial Coverage:
Denver -- Downtown

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Source Institution:
Auraria Library
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
Copyright [name of copyright holder or Creator or Publisher as appropriate]. Permission granted to University of Colorado Denver to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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DOWNTOWN AREA PLAN STEERING COMMITTEE
ALRARIA HIGHER EDUCATION CENTER
Lawrence E. Hamilton
Board of Directors
CITY AND COUNTY OF DENVER
Richard T. Castro.
Director
Commission on Community Relations
Hiawatha Davis. Jr.
Denver City Council, District #8
Thomas A. Gougeon*
Assistant to the Mayor
William Lamom, Jr*
Direclor of Planning and Development
Caiiiy Reynolds
Denver City Council. Member-at-Large
William R. Roberts
Denser City Council. District #11
M.L. "Sam" Sandos
Denver City Council, District Hi
Warren M. Tollz,
Vice Chair
Denver Planning Board
THE DENVER PARTNERSHIP, INC.
George B. Beardsley*
President.
Central Development Group. Inc.
Richard CD. Fleming*
President. CEO
The Denver Panncrship.Inc.
Fdmundo A. Gonzales
Director, Denver Management Council
Mountain Beil
Bruce W. Halbert*
Executive Vice President
Vfestem Capital Investments Curporaliwi
Gail H. Klapper
Partner,
Klapper & Zimmerman
Neil G. Macey
President.
Denver Equities
John E. Moyc*
Partner.
Moye Giles OKeefe Venneire & Gorrell
IXJWNTOWN DENVER RESIDENTS
ORGANIZATION
Peier J. Adolph
President
HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMUNITY
Lisa A. Purdy
President,
Ciliscape, Ltd.
INTER-NEIGHBORHOOD COOPERATION (
Eleanor Jefferson
Vice President of the Board
LOWER DOWNTOWN PROPERTY OWN
ASSOCIATION
Morton Mickey" Zeppelin*
Zeppelin & Company
T HE NEIGHBORHOOD PARTNERSHIP
David J, Cole.
Chair
REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION DISTRICT
William B. Rourkc
Chair of the Board
STATE OE COLORADO
E. Robert Turner*
Executive Director,
Department of Administration
MEMBERS-AT-LARCE
James T. Busby
Neighborhood Leader
Thomas G.Currigan*
Former Mayor of Denver
William H. Hornby
Senior Editor
The Denver Post
H. Lena Lopez
Neighborhood Leader
Donald K. ScawcII
Chair of the Board
IJCPA
Executive Committee Members
TASK FORCE MEMBERS
James M, Anderson
A. Gordon Appcll
Charles R. Bahlinan
Donald E. Barker
David A. Basket)
Richard D. Bauman
Brad A. Benson
Sheila S. Biscn ius
Michael D. Biscnios
D. Kenneth Bleakly
Mary Ann Blish
James Bowen
Colleen Boyle
John A. "Jack" Bruee
Cathy Butler
William Cnrley
David S. Chcmo
Shirley G. Craighead
John Cruise
Jean Dcmmler
Donald L. Elliot
Ruth Falkenberg
Jennifer Finch
Mary Finn
Elizabeth A. Fisher
Kathy Frazier
Alan G. Gass
Larry W. Gibson
Trish Gilpauick
John L. Gray
Linda Hampton
Amala M. Hanke
David C. Harder
James E. Harpool
Marvin Hatami
Donald E. Hunt
Susan Hilb
Lane Ittelson
Michael Jack
Thomas L. Jenkins
Aeron John
Rita C. Kahn
Jim Raise!
Lee W. Keller
Johanna Elizabeth Kelly
Juditha A. Laruda
Carl H, Luppcnx
John W. Madden
Donna McEncmc
Kick McNeal
Thomas 0. Mead
Anne L. Mills
Gloria Mills
Malcolm M. Murray
Diane G. Nagel
Dorothy A. Nepa
Jerome M. Nery
David Nctz
Elmer Officer
Carl Anthony Ortiz
Robert G. H. Pahl
Barbara H. Pah!
Terry Ptahl
Jeanne Peterson
Christine E. Pfaff
Judith F. Pietlock
John R. Pong
Julian K. Quattlebaum.ilI
John R. Quernrd
Thomas K. Ragland
Andy Roberts
Mary I. Roberts
Clark A. Robertson
Joanne Salztnan
William S. Saslow
Mark C. Schaefer
Robert C Schaevilz
Raymond E. Stackhous
Carolyn M. Steele
Jacqueline G. Steele
Eugene D. Sternberg
Kathy Stewart
Clark J. Strickland
Jacqueline Voss
John L. Wilson
William Robert Wharton
Gerry Wilson
Julie Ann Woods
Larry E. Wright
Robert W. Yeager


Downtown Area Plan
A Plan For the Future of Downtown Denver
Spring 19S6
A join venture of
The Denver Partnership, Inc,
Denver Planning Office, City and County of Denver
Copyright J9R6




TO THE
CITIZENS
OF DENVER
May 15, 1986
It is our pleasure to present to you the Downtown Area Plan for Den-
ver. This document represents the product of nearly two years of work
by the twenty-eight member Steering Committee appointed by Mayor
Pena in July of 1984.
The Mayor charged the Committee with developing a clear and excit-
ing plan for the ftiture of Downtown Denver. The Plan was to serve as
a benchmark for the thousands of public and private decisions that affect
the form and function of Denvers Downtown.
Our Committee worked hard and enthusiastically to respond to the
challenge embodied in that charge. With the assistance of a broad spec-
trum of the community, we have developed a vision for Downtown Den-
ver. The pages that follow represent our best effort to define what
Downtown Denver can and should be in the future.
Wfc hope that this Plan does more than simply present a shining image
of the future. We have anempted to highlight the values strongly held
by this community, and to base the Plan solidly upon them. We have
tried to communicate in a simple fashion the importance of many of the
existing elements in Downtown and to identify the priority projects
necessary to accomplish the Plan.
The Downtown described in this Plan will not emerge overnight, but
it is achievable. This Plan is rooted in the pragmatism of economic and
engineering analysis. At the same time, it recognizes the vital need for
Downtown Denver to be a place that is human, livable, and fun. The
liearl of any great city depends upon these qualities.
Enormous effort has gone into the preparation of this document. The
ultimate product of this effort, however, is not a document but a vision
and a belief in our collective ability to plan and develop a vibrant and
functional core for our City. The true test of this plan will come with
time. Even if every specific recommendation is not implemented, it is
most important that the public adopt this vision as its own. By doing
so. each of us can ensure that the Plan lives on. Izmg after this docu-
ment has been forgotten, the ideas will remain.
As the Downtown area continues to grow and develop, this Plan should
serve as i useful guide. If each of us continues to believe that it is
"important that it happen and that it be done right, then wc will leave
the next generation of Denver citizens that much closer to the achieve-
ment of t le Plan's ultimate goals,
Our sincere thanks to all of those who have dedicated their talent,
energy, and ideas to this effort.
Co-Chair
Thomas A. Gougeon
Co-Chair
Downtown Area Plan
Steering Committee




TABLE OF CONTENTS
THE BEGINNINGS................ i
PREFACE...................... 1
THE CONTEXT 2
HOW THIS PLAN WAS DEVELOPED... 2
THE SETTING................... 4
CURRENT CONDITIONS AND TRENDS.... 5
THE PLAN
THE CONSTITUTION 16
THE FRAMEWORK 18
SPINE.........................18
ANCHORS.......................18
WATERWAYS.....................18
CONNECTIONS...................18
THE YARDSTICK.................22
OPEN SPACE IN THE FRAMEWORK...24
HOUSING IN THE FRAMEWORK......28
ACCESS 30
DOWNTOWN ROADWAY SYSTEM.......31
REGIONAL RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM.33
PARKING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM.....37
DISTRICTS 38
RETAIL........................39
CIVIC CENTER..................44
LOWER DOWNTOWN................46
FINANCIAL.....................52
SILVER TRIANGLE...............54
AURARIA HIGHER EDUCATION CENTER .58
GOLDEN TRIANGLE...............61
CENTRAL PLATTE VALLEY.........64
ARAPAHOE TRIANGLE.............68
UPTOWN ON THE HILL............70
CIVIC DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY 72
PRINCIPLES....................72
IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS........72
ROLE OF THE COMMITTEE.........76
CONCLUSION....................76


THE BEGINNINGS
Events That Have Created Downtown Denver
1858 Downtown founded as Denver City where
Cherry Creek enters the South Platte River,
a staging area for the Pike's Peak Gold Rush.
1870 Downtown Denver businessmen raise
$300000 to build a bnmchline to connect the
5000-population town" with the first tran-
scontinental railroad at Cheyenne.
1893 The national silver crash ends the first min-
ing boom, but by now the city has
100000-plus people and is an established
regional center.
1900 In 1900 Denver becomes the regional reposi-
tory for federal finds, confirming Downtown's
role as the regional financial center.
1902 The City and County of Denver is established
by the state legislature as a home-rule city,
with Mayor Robert Speer shortly to begin
pushing the City Beautifid" movement.
1905 Cheesman Reservoir becomes the first major
mountain water storage for Denver.
1906 The first automobile is licensed in Denver,
and in the next year the first trolley reaches
Littleton, beginning the "suburban"
movement.
1908 The Denver Auditorium, largest municipal
meeting facility west of Madison Square
Garden, is dedicated and shortly hosts the
Democratic National Convention.
1911-12 The D&F Tbwer goes up, the 20th Street
Viaduct links Downtown to Hist Denver,
Union Station is rebuilt, and somewhere
someone makes Denver's first long-distance
phone call.
1914-17 HbridHbr I stimulates Downtown commerce
while reform influences bring in Prohibition
and the closing of Market Street's "cribs."
1923 Civic Center is completed. Denver has
250000people, 30000 cars, a few thousand
new Hispanic citizens who came to help in
war-effort farming, and its first radio station.
1928 A downtown theatre shows the first sound
film.
1929 Stapleton Airport b dedicated.
1930 The "Little Capitol" campaign b started to
attract federal workers and regional head-
quarters to Denver. From 2000 employees at
the start of the depression the number
reaches 16000 by the end of Hbrld Hbr It.
1935 Federal Depression programs improve Den-
ver facilities, including Red Rocks and moun-
tain parks. First Western Slope water to
Denver in the next year.
1937 Transcontinental air service to Denver
begins, as does planning for Winter Park, the
first large mountain ski area.
193945 Hbrld Wbr II brings to Denver an Ordinance
Plant which by 1943 employs 20000people,
half of them women. When America enters
the war, Denver becomes host to floods of
servicemen who form the base of postwar
expansion.
1950 State auto registration b 564,000 the last
street railway car b taken out of service.
Denver has 415,786 people; the suburbs an
additional 150000 (Thirty years later, Den-
ver has grown to 491096, with the suburbs
having an additional 1J2O0OO).
1952 Dwight Eisenhower opens hb presidential
campaign headquarters at the Brown Fblace.
Denver has its first televbion broadcast.
1956 Interstate Highway Act signed, with major
intersection in Downtown Denver area.
1960 Denver Urban Renewal Authority begins
planning for Skyline Project. At thb point
Denver has six buildings higher than 320
feet; ten years later there are 18, and the
building crane b the state bird.
1964 Roberts TUnnel for trans-mountain water
diversion completed, as b Currigan Hall
Convention Center.
1965 Larimer Square hbtoric restoration begins
and hbtoric preservation movement spreads.
1969 Bond bsue for Auraria Higher Education
Center passes, and the next year for Denver
purchase of the bus system. The Regional
Thansportation District b formed in 1973.
1971 New Art Museum built. Planning begins for
the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
1974 State legblature passes Poundstone Amend-
ment prohibiting Denver's farther growth by
annexation.
1976 Auraria Higher Education Center and
Colorado Heritage Center are dedicated.
1982 16th Street Mall dedicated.


PREFACE
A VISION FOR THE FUTURE
A city changes because of dreams, Dreams give shape to plans, plans to actions, actions to results. Vfe live our
lives among the results, so wed best share in the dreaming.
Our children and grandchildren must live there, too, particularly among those physical results that dictate the ctaarac-
ter of their city. The question is, will they live among quality results? Will they live among those that grow from
dreams and plans that many have shared through mutual thought and work. Or will they live among the results
of accident and indifference, not much better than life among the mins.
Go back in memory one lifetime, say 80 years. In the early century, Denver made the transition from small city
to large, with a population of about 200,000, almost all of it within die dty boundaries. In this more simple time,
the dreaming and planning of a few headed by Mayor Robert Speer resulted in Civic Center and the Denver park
and parkway system feeding into the central dty. These [dans became the general guides to development throughout
the next decades. The attractive basic features of Denvers urban character of today were laid out by the forethought
of yesterday.
Go back half a lifetime, 40 years, to the great changes feeing Denver after World War II, with its population now
400000 plus, almost half of that outside the city in the mushrooming suburbs. The suburbs and the Downtown
skyline exploded together; the quaint old D&F Tower was fast displaced as Downtown's only skyscraper.
Again there was some forethought given to Downtowns character as a whole, and some to its linkage with the boom-
ing suburbs. But the speed of the changes meant that Denver had to grow by leaps and bounds. Various milestone
projects went their several ways, in a rather marvelous chaos. That the major results such as the Denver Urban
Renewal Skyline Project, the 16th Street Mall, the Denver Center Complex (referred to here as the DCPA), the
Auraria campus, and Larimer Square fell into relative harmony owes much to good fortune and much to the frame-
work laid by foresight years ago.
Now we must apply similar foresight as trustees for the lifetimes ahead. In the 21st century, how will it feel to be
in Downtown Denver when the population served will be in the millions, with two-thirds or more in the suburbs?
What do you see? What are the changes? What is gone, what remains? Such were the questions of this Plans Steer-
ing Committee as they began to shape a vision of Denvers future.
Every year, both business and government spend millions of dollars in Downtown building and remodeling pri-
vate developments, changing roadways, improving open spaces. The Plan provides a context to guide that invest-
ment, allowing us to identify opportunities, and to design projects that take advantage of planned future development.
The vision becomes the guideline that allows individual actions to be of collective benefit for Denver, feat allows
the parts to fell into place.
I


THE CONTEXT
HOW THIS PLAN WAS DEVELOPED
THE COMMITTEE
In July 1984, Mayor Federico Fena appointed a 28-member Steering Committee to spearhead this effort. The Com-
mittee was to produce a long-term plan for the economic and physical development of Downtown Denver. The
process was to ensure that the public and private sectors collaborate.
The Downtown Area Plan Steering Committee included representatives and key decision makers from neighbor-
hoods, the preservation community, private business, and government They represented points of view and interests,
not numbers of people. The Committee was staffed by a collaborative team from the City of Denvers Planning
Office and The Denver Partnership, Inc., representing the private business community,
Throughout the process, Steering Committee representatives involved and informed the members of their interest
groups, and represented those interests in the decisions of the Committee. In addition to this outreach to consti-
tuent groups, the Committee sought input from the community-at-large. The public was regularly informed of foe
Plan through the news media, and citizens who inquired more than 800 in all received agendas of all Com-
mittee meetings and summaries of results.
This collaboration brought together a diversity of viewpoints from all who have a stake in Downtowns future.
DECISION PROCESS
The Committee's goal was a plan that addresses foe interests of all its diverse members, recognizing that it is these
public and private stakeholders with direct interest in Downtown who will build the vision. All decisions regard-
ing both the content of the Plan and foe process of developing it were made by consensus, rather than voting.
So foe needs represented by each individual Committee member had to be resolved in order to reach agreement.
The Committee worked in partnership with staff, identifying Downtowns problems and foe possible solutions. The
Committee also benefitted from consultants in many fields for data and advice.
PROCESS/TIMELINE
JULY 1984


COMMENTARY
BY
EDMUND BACON
Denver has a lung history of innovative dnwmrtwn projects which
became models liir I he nation. Mile High Center was one of the first
developments involving several buildings designed to work together in
mired use. with ; ire hi lee l lira I excellence applied, nol only to the build-
ings themselves, hul also to the spaces between. In the 60's Larimer
Square shined lorlh as historic preservation through adaptive reuse,
creating leslival retail, long hel'ore those words were current. The 16th
Slicel Mall recurs in conversations throughout the United States as a
unique nit Kiel wherever transit and pedestrian circulation in downtowns
are discussed.
It is stimulating to see that Denver is nol resting on its laurels. 'Die new
Downtown Plan is both an important document, serving as a guide tin
linure action, and a monument to a fine process lor developing a civic
consensus.
Victor Gruen's great vision for downtown Fort Worth died tut the vine
because the people of Forth Worth were not involved in the planning
process until lhe plan was finished. Denver has learned the lesson ibis
Inis to teach, and has established a brilliant way iiir the many diverse
groups to work together and to consider jointly the many basic values,
approaches, policies, and priorities which must undcrly any plan Mini
is expected to work. Mayor Pena set the tone in his I9B.1 campaign lor
Mayor, with his hold determination to achieve a Great City. In conjunc-
tion with the Mayor. City Council, and the government agencies. The
Denver Partnership sei up a consensus process, involving IB months of
intense work and several ret reals. Each issue could be considered with
ample time for the considerations of'each community point of view.
Most importantly, the technical planners and the creative designers were
constantly present to interpiet community sentiment and integrate it into
projects of utmost technical competency and imagination.
The product olTItis work, the Plan before you now. is a true milestone
in Denver's progress. It is only a beginning of what lies ahead. As in
most American cities, them is a growing need for strong connections
between fragmented projects already done. The Curtis Street Connec-
tion is an example of what lies ahead in bcllcr connecting Downtown
Denver's amenities.
The entite setting of Downtown needs to be improved. The gups in retail
frontage on [he Ifillt Slreel Mall have to he lilted in and stronger con-
nection made to the anchors at each end of the Mall. The remaining
fragile remnanls of historic Denver [Lower Downtown) must be
preserved and enhanced, which requires a strong and utilled commu-
nity will. The full value of the I6lh Street Mall will nol be realized until
there is strong and innovative development along the proposed 15th
Street transportation corridor'lo support U-
More diverse income housing needs to be built downtown, and stronger
connections made 10 the neighborhoods, both physical and spiritual.
Out of this Plan will flow even more challenging concepts to keep Den-
ver in the forefront. Wilh this experience behind it. Denver will rise to
the occasion and continc to provide ihe country with fresh visions of
what an American downtown can become.
au.
Etjtiuihd Ihiemt
May 1986


PROJECT STAFF
Project Co-Directors
Eileen M. Byrne
Will Fleissig
Planning and Design Managers
Robert Karri
Debra A. Kaufmann
Sara Jane Seward
David Williams
Gary Zehnpfennig
Assistant Design Managers
Paul D. Sehncrt
Jacquie Anderson
Planning Specialists
Douglas J. Goedcrt
Kent Gonzales
Stephen D. Gordon
Mary Roberts
Karte Seydel
Liz Spencer
Dennis B, Swain
Bronwen J. Turner
Design Assistants
William Ali
Anthony Chan
Dong Hoon Lee
Dana Miller
Atex Pitkin
Roger A. Hittle
Victor %ng
Administrative Staff
Cathy Brooks
Victoria Craig
Keith Jackson
Barbara A. Sykes
The Denver Partnership.lne,
Denver Planning Office
The Denver fermership, Inc.
Denver Planning Office
The Denver Partnership, Inc.
Denver Planning Office
The Denver hrtnership, Inc.
Denver Planning Office
The Denver Partnership, Inc.
Denver Planning Office
The Denver Partnership, Inc.
Denver Planning Office
Denver Planning Office
The Denver Partnership, Inc,
The Denver Partnership, Inc.
Denver Planning Office
Denver Planning Office
The Denver Partnership, Inc.
Denver Planning Office
The Denver Partnership, Inc.
The Denver Partnership, Inc,
The Denver Partnership, Inc.
The Denver Partnership, Inc.
The Denver ftrtnership, Inc.
The Denver Partnership, Inc,
The Denver Partnership, Inc.
The Denver Partnership, Inc.
The Denver Partnership, Inc.
PROJECT CONSULTANTS
David Straus
Interaction Associates
Edmund N. Bacon
Mondev International, Ltd.
Barker Rinker Seacat & Partners
Donald Barker, Vice President
Kenneth Berendl, Associate
Bernard Frieden
MIT School of Design
Blayncy-Dyett, Urban Planners
Michael Dyett
Brophy & Associates, Inc.
John Brophy, President
Julie Sgarzi
Carol Lewis
Deputy Mayor of Seattle
Center far Business and
Economic Forecasting, Inc.
Wilson D. Kendall,
Chief Economist
Center for Pubiic/Private
Sector Cooperation,
John Pbit, Director
The Conservation Foundation
Chris Duerkson
Citiscape, Ltd.
Lisa Purdy
CRS Shrine, Inc.
Thomas Stone, Principal
William Byrne
Ronald Thorstad
Ffeisburg Holt & Ullevig
Arnold Ullevig, Principal
Stephen Holt, Principal
First Interstate Bank of Denver
Lucy Creighton
Chief Economist
Frederick Ross Company
Rick Pederson
Jane Brazes
Robert Yeager
Garfield Schwartz Associates,!:.
Gail Garfield Schwartz, President
Kitt McCord Associates
Kilt McCord
Laventhol & Horwath
Kennedi Bleak!ey, Manager
Miriam Evans, Associate
McGlsughlin Water Engineers, Ltd.
Ron McGlaughltn,
Managing Principal
William Thggart, Principal
Mary Blish, Associate
Project for Public Spaces
Don Miles, Principal
Quality Counts
Norma Emond, President
Sherry Albertson Clark
Historic Preservation/Planncr
Thomas J. Noel,
Associate Professor of History
Director of Colorado Studies
CU-Dcnver
William H. Hornby
Senior Editor,
The Denver Post


A city is great if its people are concerned with making it great.
Edmund Bacon
The Steering Committee first examined what Denver is today, its strengths and weaknesses and envisioned what
Downtown Denver can and should be in the year 2000 and beyond. From this work, the Committee developed as
overall goals a Downtown Denver that is:
economically healthy;
the social and cultural center of the region;
beautiful and full of people and activity; and
a good neighbor to the Citys other neighborhoods.
The Committee concluded that Downtown already has many of the ingredients needed to achieve these goals. But
it identified five critical needs:
creating a vital retail center in Downtown;
developing people connections between Downtown's activity centers, and between Downtown and the
neighborhoods;
improving access to Downtown;
enhancing distinct districts in Downtown, and
providing housing in Downtown.
The Committee met intensively over 18 months, doing much of its initial work in sub-groups open to all interested
members. The Executive Committee designed and managed the Committee's process, guided and reviewed the staff
work, and prepared the Committee meetings. The Framework Committee developed plans for Downtown's dis-
tricts and the first cut at the overall principles and outline of the Flan and connections. The Access Thsk Force deve-
loped specific proposals for transit and roadway access to Downtown.
The Lower Downtown Thsk Force developed the plan for that district. More than 200 citizens joined Steering Com-
mittee members in this Thsk Force. Six work groups focused on specific issues, enabling the group to mediate the
conflicts between historic preservation and economic growth in Lower Downtown, and to produce specific regulatory
and development actions to implement that plan.
The recommendations of each of the sub-groups were considered by the full Steering Committee for inclusion in
the Plan. The preliminary results were then presented for public comment in more than 52 meetings in the Fall
of 1985. The Denver City Council, the Denver Planning Board, the general public, and the news media were
included in these meetings.
The Steering Committee considered the various responses received in those meetings and refined its recommen-
dations in response to them. The Downtown Area Plan is the result of that process.


J
Early In the Nth Century, Denver's hinterland was considerd The Great
American Desert" described as "almost wholly unfit for cultivation unin-
habitable by people depending on agriculture. the scarcity of wood and
water (Is) an insuperable obstacle in the way of settling the country,"
From the Long Expedition Report
THE SETTING
Denver is the largest urban center in the Mountain
West. It is a city of 500,000 people, within a
metropolitan area of more than 1.7 million. Half of
the people who live in Colorado live within easy
commuting distance of Downtown Denver.
Downtown Denver is located at the confluence of the
South Platte River and Cherry Creek at an elevation
of 5280 feet a mile high, at the foot of the Rocky
Mountains. Easily accessible from Denver, the
mountains provide a spectacular and visible setting
for the city. Within a two-hour drive of Downtown
are several of the worlds finest ski areas. These
areas and the scenery attract 4.5 million people dur-
ing the winter months and another 15.5 million
throughout the summer months for hiking, camping,
fishing, touring, and sightseeing.
Denvers climate is a major attribute. The sun shines
more than 300 days a year, making outdoor activi-
ties and people-watching enjoyable year round. The
dry climate makes the presence of water even more
special and is, in fact, the reason for Denver's loca-
tion at the confluence of the Creek and the River.
Denver is also a major transportation hub and the
central staging area for the mountain states. Located
close to the geographic center of the country, it is a
stop-over and destination point for rail, bus, auto,
truck, and air lines. Stapleton International Airport
is the sixth busiest in the world with mote than 1,250
flights arriving and departing daily. Two federal
highways, 1-25 and 1-70 intersect at the edge of
Downtown, bringing travelers from north, south,
east and west. The rail lines which established Den-
vers prominence still function today, bringing goods
and passengers to Union Station.
FRONT RANGE
CITY OF DENVER
4


Downtowns amenities (red) and waterways are isolated from each
other. The dense downtown core is separated from the neighbor-
hoods by underdeveloped transition zones (orange) which ring the
core. This has the effect of cutting off downtown from its surround-
ing neighborhoods.
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DOWNTOWN: CURRENT CONDITIONS AND TRENDS
The lifestyle we enjoy in Denver
revolves around our extraordinary
natural selling, social and cultural
amenities, and the economy based
on Denvers role as the financial,
business and distribution heart of
the Rocky Mountain region.
Downtown Denver is the heart of
one of the nations important
metropolises, one expected to take
on increasing importance with
growth in coming years, In that
role, we are a center for services
and corporate decisionmaking: one
of the ten largest office markets in
the nation, though the metropolitan
area is 25th largest in population.
Downtown is the laigcst single employment center in this metro market, with an attractive environment for
the many business functions where face-to-faee contaet remains important, and with access to the broadest range
of labor.
But it's much more than the areas largest office park. Because Denver has always maintained a strong Downtown,
300.000 people live in and around Downtown. Our urban center provides the higher density living and activity
necessary to support the cultural facilities, festivals, restaurants, and entertainment that more pastoral residents
also enjoy.
The Denver metropolitan area hits gone through the transition in the last 15 years from a mid-size to a major business
market and population center. In our new status, growth will ntrw occur more slowly, On todays larger base, we
will not see the dramatic percentage increases in population and employment opportunities that were possible as
a smaller city.
But. with care and foresight the Denver area should still experience steady growth at lower rales, due to the advan-
tages of our climate and setting, our overall quality of life and the critical mass of our business base.
6


"At mid-19th Century, San Francisco and Denver emerged in the wilderness
. instant cities. Magic seemed to account far their rise, but it was the
discovery of gold that touched off the urban explosions."
Gunther Barth, Instant Cities, 1975
NEED FOR AN ECONOMIC STRATEGY
That growth cannot be taken for granted, however. Denver should immediately develop an overall strategy to
stimulate new economic growth in this region, with a particular focus on the core city. Such a strategy will
complement this Plan. It should identify the action needed beyond this Plan, to solidify the economic activity now
concentrated in Downtown, including government, communications, the design industry, and medical services, as
well as the finance and service sectors.
But the strategy should go further. It should fill the gap that exists in the various municipal and sub-area plans in
our region, foeusing on the development of regional and statewide resources that can trigger the emergence of new
industries in Denver and expanded demand for the services of our present business base. These are the resources
that will generate the jobs our children will hold.
Other regions have found those resources in their education systems, medical facilities, transportation networks,
and waterfronts. A coordinated, regional effort is needed to identify the assets that can shape Denvers eco-
nomic future, and to lay out the strategy for translating those assets into jobs. In the Downtown area, we must
assure that many of these jobs arc targeted for inner-city residents. Developing that growth strategy is an immediate
challenge.
Equally pressing is the need for a framework that assures that our growth doesnt occur at the expense of the very
characteristics of our environment that created it, This complex task will require state and regional action, but this
Downtown Area Plan is an important element. Creating a strong center city one that is a desirable workplace,
home site, and entertainment center can produce some counterbalance to urban sprawl. Unless all our growth
is to be absorbed at a cost of losing the open space, wildlife, and vistas Coloradoans cherish, we need a core city
so attractive that a substantial number of the regions people want to live, work, and play there, rather than at the
ever-moving fringe.
The Downtown Area Plan describes a comprehensive package of improvements to make Downtown and its sur-
rounding neighborhoods a place all Denver residents can enjoy, and to enable it to attract a balanced share of
metropolitan growth in office, retail, residential, and hospitality development. The Plan is grounded in the anal-
ysis of Downtown's economic and physical development conditions and trends. Those conditions are described
below, in terms of the markets for users of Downtown, for the health of a city can be measured by how well it
is used.
7


OFFICE MARKET
Downtowns 22 million square feet
of office space is its largest land
use and the base of its economy.
Eighty-eight percent of the
114,000-person Downtown work-
force consists of office workers
(72% in multi-tenant space). These
employees are the largest single
market for the other major eco-
nomic sectors of Downtown: re-
tail, housing, hospitality, and
entertainment.
The market for office space in
Downtown and the metro area has
been dominated by over-supply in
recent years, as a result of a dou-
bling of the total supply between
1979 and 1983. While demand did
PROJECTED EMPLOYMENT GROWTH
METRO DENVER 1985-1986
not escalate as sharply, it has been consistently healthy. With slightly more than I million square feet absorbed
in Downtown in 1985, and 3 million marketwide, Denver is in the top ten cities nationally in office absorption.
The Denver office market is diversified. Downtown is an important center for the energy industry and should remain
so, though were not likely to see major expansion in that area soon. But we dont share the dependence on oil and
gas that some of our southwestern neighbors do. Employment in three other sectors heavily concentrated in Down-
town is projected to expand substantially in Denver in the next 10 years: finance, insurance, and real estate (60%
projected growth); services (50%); and transportation, communications, and utilities (44%).
That base, and the leveling of rents in Downtown and the southeast suburban corridor, will benefit Downtown in
the increasingly competitive office market. Current trends suggest that Downtown may have a smaller, though still
significant share of the metro office market over the next 15 years. In a moderate growth scenario, Downtown will
absorb an average of 850,000
square feet per year.
The implications of that scenario
for the development of the Down-
town area are notable. Office
occupancy will grow to nearly 30
million square feet in 2000, and the
workforce will expand to 165,000,
Yet at that rate it will take 55 years
to build out ail the undeveloped
land in the core. Only by increas-
ing our market share (by tapping
new markets for Downtown, for
example), can we also redevelop
the blighted areas that divide
Downtown from the surrounding
neighborhoods without extending DENVER METRO MARKET GROWTH
that timeline. MULTI-TENANT OFFICE SPACE
8


In this more competitive environment, Downtown must offer a more attractive, competitive product. In addition
to seeking new growth, that means building on our assets:
maintaining superior access to Downtown by auto and mass transit, as the hub of the region;
building on the density and compactness of Downtown, a particular challenge when the supply of developable
land exceeds short-term growth expectations; and
enhancing Downtowns distinctive atmosphere: its street life, retail, entertainment, and historic roots.
The character and feeling of Downtown are more important features in the office market than is commonly recog-
nized. Downtown Denvers activity, street life, and shopping emerge as important site attractions Downtown bus-
inesses offer their employees. Thus, office market strength is closely related to the success of the other major
economic sectors in Downtown: retail, housing, hospitality, and entertainment.
DOWNTOWN DENVER (CBD) GROWTH
MULTI-TENANT OFFICE SPACE
9


RETAIL MARKET
Retail is the social foundation of Downtown, the magnet for the city's role as a social marketplace. In addition to
being an important revenue generator for the City, it acts as a key amenity for all other development in Downtown.
It is the site attraction that ranks first among employees as an inducement to work Downtown.
With nearly 2 million square feet of retail space. Downtown is the largest shopping complex in the Rocky Moun-
tain region. Its offerings cover all of the three major types of retail, often overlapping:
Comparison shopping. The regional shopping mall is the best known model for this type of retail. It attracts
shoppers from a broad market (20-30 minute radius) because it carries a full range of merchandise organized
to give shoppers confidence they can find everything they need in one location. Department stores are the symbol
and the traditional anchors of comparison shopping centers. Downtowns comparison shopping center is the Retail
District along the Mall, from May D&F to the Tabor-Writer-Larimer Square complex.
Entertainment retail. While entertainment has become an important function of all retail today (especially com-
parison shopping), the entertainment retail sector is a distinct type exemplified in Denver by Tivoli. It does not
attempt to provide a full range of merchandise, but rather focuses on amusements, food, and specialty retail, often
organized around a theme. Latge-scale entertainment retail draws customers from a regional market, but for a
more limited purpose than comparison shopping: to eat, bring visitors, visit a unique shop, or to see what's
new. A number of opportunities exist to develop new entertainment retail in Downtown, such as in Lower Down-
town and at the DC PA Galleria.
Neighborhood service retail provides the goods and services people expect to find convenient to their homes,
for which they typically travel very short distances. It includes groceries, convenience stores, dry cleaners, shoe
repair, and the like. Service retail is located throughout the Downtown area, to serve a population for whom con-
venience is frequently defined as located near the office, rather than home. It is somewhat more concentrated
near Lower Downtown, however, where office and residential uses converge.
Metropolitan Denver is a strong and expanding retail market. With an average household income of nearly $33,000,
it ranks 12th nationally in retail sales per capita. With metropolitan employment projected to grow at twice the
national rate in the next ten years, retail demand should continue to be strong.
The market includes 13 major regional malls within the inner four-county area, often with overlapping trade areas.
As a result, few suburban malls perform at exceptional sales levels in this $4 billion per year market. Current
proposals for six new regional mils, including four in the southeast corridor, suggest this trend may continue in
the suburbs.
Denvers share of that market has declined steadily a source of concern to the City, which relies on sales tax
for nearly 50% of its General Fund revenue. Downtown's share has also declined with increasing suburban com-
petition for comparison shopping.
But since the completion of the 16th Street Mall, Downtown's retail deterioration has been reversed. Sales have
stabilized; 250,000 square feet of lost space has been replaced (although not with anchor stores to compensate for
the loss of Penney's and Joseph Magnin). Today Downtown has proven its potential as a shopping destination, not
just an office service center. By various surveys, 20% or more of metre-area households shop Downtown during
a 30-day period, and two-thirds of Denver households shopped at Tabor Center more than once in its first year
of operation.
10


16th STREET, 1520s
Despite those figures,the City now loses £500 million per year in comparison and entertainment sales, through
leakage from the current Downtown retail base overwhelmingly to suburban shopping centers. That leakage sug-
gests that shoppers arc coming Downtown hut using it as an entertainment center rather than a regional mall
shopping at one or more of Downtown's specialty centers, but not using the Mall as a whole.
To halt that leakage, these obstacles will have to be overcome to help the Retail District (unction more effectively:
the need for additional retail anchor stores, particularly at the southeast end of the district:
the broken continuity of retail frontage tilting the Mall from May D&F to Tabor;
the disorganization of short-term parking adjacent to the Mall; and
the lack of common store hours and retail promotions.
Downtown has an unmediate opportunity to attract high-end department stores. Several are now considering entering
the Denver market, where the high-end is the only segment of the market that is underbuilt. But as opportunities
develop, securing a mass-merchandising department store as well will help fill out the diversity of Downtown retail
offerings.
16th STREET MALL, 1980s
11


16th AND CURTIS, I920s
V ISn OR ENTERTALNMENT MARKET
The visitor and entertainment market includes tourists, conventioneers, and local residents using Downtown as an
entertainment center, A strong visitor market provides a steady stream of users for Downtown. This enables the
city to offer a wider variety of restaurants, retail, entertainment, and cultural facilities than local residents could
support alone. It also produces an instant environment of activity that enhances Downtown's desirability as a place
to live, work, and play. And, it brings new, outside revenue to the City in sales and lodgers tax.
Colorado is one of the top visitor destinations in the country. The mountains are the primary attraction even
more so in summer than in winter. Three-fourths of the States 20 million visitors each year arrive during the warmer
months. In total, these travelers bring $5 billion into the Colorado economy each year.
Downtown Denver has many of the ingredients needed to be a strong visitor attraction, including more than 4,000
hotel rooms and an international hub airport that serves 27 airlines. It is unique in its concentration of cultural facil-
ities, which is the largest in the nation for a city of this size. Downtown continues to be the heart of cultural activity
in the region, with the Art Museum, Denver Center theatres, Denver Symphony Orchestra, the Library, Heritage
Center, Western Art Museum, and a distinguished collection of smaller theatre groups, art galleries, and clubs.
But maintaining that concentration will require public commitment. At the same time, the return of first-run movie
theatres at Tivoli, the reopening of the Paramount, and the expansion of Downtown festivals have broadened the
range of entertainment available in Downtown.
Downtown also has the most compact concentration of restaurants and entertainment in the metro area. With so
many resources compressed in a small area, we have the potential to create a self-reinforcing system of visitor attrac-
tions. That critical mass encourages multi-use visits dinner and the theatre, a museum and shopping on the Mall
that draw more people and increase the way they use Downtown.
Downtown in the 1980s is not lapping the full potential of its visitor market. Denver lags far behind comparable
cities in the number of convention delegates we attract, Atlanta and Dallas draw three times as many. Even Seat-
tle and Minneapolis, without the advantage of hub air service, serve 100,000 delegates more than Denver each year.
The convention industry is hampered by the size and quality of our convention facilities, and delays, crowding,
and inconveniences at Stapleton International Airport, For mountain-bound tourists passing through Stapleton or
1-70, there is no identifiable magnet in Denver, and no psychological connection between the city and the moun-
tains.
Finally, Downtown has not yet capitalized on the compactness of our attractions. As the city struggles under the
burden of supporting the cultural facilities enjoyed by the entire region, we are missing much of the spin-off sales
and activity those facilities should generate in Downtown. Despite the compactness of Downtown, many of our
visitor attractions and cultural facilities appear distant from each other because they're separated by relatively barren
streets which tend to exaggerate the separation. So, today, one facility doesnt benefit from the use of another and
the spending impact of many visitors goes no further than the parking lot they use to come and go from one attrac-
tion alone.
Improving visitor and entertainment business in Downtown can produce some of the quickest results in creating
the Downtown environment wc seek. It requires a program of:
connecting, marketing, and managing our entertainment attractions as a package, and creating a tourist link
between Downtown and the mountains:
replacing or redeveloping Currigan Hall Convention Center with a larger, more effective facility in Downtown
that can attract more events, especially larger out-of-state meetings that generate a higher proportion of overnight
stays;
replacing Stapleton International Airport with a larger, more efficient airport, functionally and physically linked
to Downtown, which can meet the demands of an expanding air hub and serve the needs of the Denver travel-
ing public.
12


HOUSING MARKET
CORE HOUSING
Of the four major user markets in Downtown, the market for housing is the most difficult to tap. This market has
absorbed severe blows over the years and strategic effort will be required to rebuild it to the point that it can be
a significant segment of the metropolitan market.
In general, the metropolitan housing market has been robust over the last decade, as the population of the region
expanded rapidly. Currently, however, the market is suffering from an oversupply in both single- and multi-family
production, due to a rapid increase in the housing stock since 1980, recent reductions in the area's rate of growth,
and slower demand since our once-low housing costs have caught up with much of the nation.
The 3,200 housing units in Downtown are one percent of the total market. The Denver Urban Renewal Authority
has taken the lead in building the Downtown housing market, with approximately 1640 units developed as part of
the Skyline Urban Renewal project. The earliest efforts produced 683 units of high quality, well-planned low-income
housing. The 957 luxury units primarily condominiums have had more difficulty. Slow market acceptance
undermined investor confidence in Downtown housing. Absorption has increased dramatically in recent years.
That success suggests there is, in fact, a market for Downtown housing, and the process has provided a labora-
tory for examining the obstacles to tapping it.
Competition. With so many desirable close-in neighborhoods, Denver residents have a wide variety of attrac-
tive housing choices within 5 to 10 minutes of Downtown. Downtown housing will have to offer a very distinc-
tive product to compete in that environment.
Limited range of housing types. Land costs and the cost and difficulty of assembling large parcels encourage
development of upper-income high-rise housing to the exclusion of other types. That narrow segment of the market
is quickly saturated; focusing on it severely limits the amount of housing that can be absorbed in Downtown.
Lack of identity as a residential place. Despite its approximately 6,500 residents, the Downtown area does not
feel to outsiders like a place that people live. For many years it has lacked neighborhood infrastructure schixrls,
churches, active parks, grocery stores and, perhaps most of all, the feeling of neighbors. The Golden Triangle,
Arapahoe Triangle, and Inner Uptown on the Hill, once vital neighborhoods adjacent to the core, have been
reduced to a sea of parking lots and fragmented low-density uses. These transition areas and the Central Platte
Vblley have become a wall between the residential character of the remaining neighborhoods, and the commercial
character of Downtown.
Recent housing projects have not overcome this obstacle; they have been designed as independent entities, without
the context of a neighborhood. Without that context, the lack of residential identity is an undercurrent in mar-
keting Downtown housing.
The need for vitality in Downtown amenities. Until recently, Downtowns retail, entertainment, and open space
didnt constitute a strong market attraction for Downtown living. The 16th Street Mall has begun to change that
situation. Thbor Center and Tivoli have improved the environment further; the turn-around in Downtown housing
absorption occurred with a rapid flurry of leasing after Tabor's opening. Despite these improvements. Down-
town's amenities are not yet generating their full power as magnets for Downtown residents. As with the visi-
tor market, Downtown housing will benefit from better connections among our activity centers and coordinated
management of our open space, cultural, and entertainment facilities.
3


rcjoJEziroEi]^


THE PLAN
There are, certainly, ample reasons for redoing downtown falling retail
sales, tax bases in jeopardy, stagnant real estate values, impossible traffic and
parking conditions, failing mass transit, encirclement by slums. But with no
intent to minimize these serious matters, it is more to the point to consider
. what makes a city center magnetic, what can inject gaiety, the wonder,
the cheerful hurly-burly that make people want to come into the city and to
linger there. For magnetism is the crux of the problem. To create in it
(Downtown) an atmosphere of urbanity and exuberance is not a frivolous aim.
Jane Jacobs
CONSTITUTION FRAMEWORK ACCESS DISTRICTS

DOWNTOWN 1986
The Downtown Area Plan is a framework for strategic actions that will
make Downtown work as a cohesive system, shape its future develop-
ment, and weave it into the rest of the City. It builds on existing assets,
both natural and cultural, and organizes them to work together.
The Plan is divided into four parts:
THE CONSTITUTION defines our values for Downtown
the values that should guide our public and private decisions about
Downtown development over time.
THE FRAMEWORK i s the skeleton around which develop-
ment will evolve over time the structure which links the various
individual investments into a mutually reinforcing system.
THE ACCESS PLAN provides for the transportation needs
of the next generation of development in Downtown and the region,
in a form that reinforces the physical framework.
THE DISTRICT PLANS define the special issues and
needs within each Downtown district to build or enhance their dis-
tinctive characters.
The combination of these four elements form for the urban core a
plan for steady, effective growth that is predictable and builds on
Downtown's strengths.
15


CONSTITUTION
economically healthy
focus urban core
active people place
living city
outdoor city
attractive streets
pedestrian rights
historic preservation
clean and safe
forward thinking
CONSTITUTION
The Constitution describes the values inherent in the Plan which arc
intended to guide growth and development in the Downtown area.
The combination of these values forms the foundation for making
decisions consistent with the overall Plan. The Constitution
descriltes the parameters for any discussion about a major change
in Downtown's physical form.
HEALTHY
ECONOMIC
CENTER
Dow'ntown will be a
healthy economic and
employment center, which
encourages the location of
corporate headquarters,
new industries, and
anchor retail stores.
ACTIVE AMENITIES
Downtown will be an
exciting place all day long,
with active street life,
comprehensive, accessible
cultural amenities, and
useful, beautiful open
spaces.
FOCTSEI)
URBAN CORE
It will be a Ibcuscd urban
core, that builds on and
reinforces its density and
compactness, to be the
social, cultural, and urban
business center of the
region.
A PLACE
PEOPLE LIVE
In order for the city to
live, people will live in the
city. We will develop and
nurture residential districts
in Downtown.
16


"The firs! step in adequate planning is to make afresh ctinvass of human ideals
and human purposes."
Lewis Mumford
CONSTITUTION
GOOD NEIGHBOR
TO NEICHBORH(X)DS
Downtown will be a gaud
neighbor to its surround-
ing neighborhoods and an
enhancement to in-town
living.
OUTDOOR CITY
Downtown Denver will be
an outdoor city. We will
take advantage of and pro-
tect our natural views of
the mountains, our water
resources, and our year-
round outdoor climate.
EASY TO
MOVE ABOUT
It will be easy to gel to
and around in Downtown,
using streets and public
transit that are attractive,
understandable, and func-
tional, and are designed to
enhanee the pedestrian iile
of the city.
HISTORIC PAST
We will protect and
emphasise our historic
past and preserve it for
future generations.
CLEAN AND SAKE:
REDUCE POLLUTION
Downtown will be clean
and safe, and committed
to improving air quality.
FORWARD
THINKING
Downtown Denver will be
forward thinking. In the
decisions we make today
we will prepare tor the
next generation of urban
amenities, assuring that
land and other resources
will be available to
develop those amenities
when they arc needed.
17


FRAMEWORK
The Framework Plan presents the skeleton elements of a cohesive
Downtown. It provides a logical system for development in the central
core.
Cities use their physical assets, their natural and cultural amenities to
organize their inherent complexity. A harbor, a large urban park, a spe-
cial shopping district, a historic area, a cathedral, distinctive office
lowers these are elements which people remember. This is where
THE SPINE
The 16th Street Mali is the central organizing dement, the spine within
the system. It is the key reference point for anyone in the Downtown area
and a magnet for people and activity. All Downtown development and
infrastructure is defined by its relationship to the Mali.
they take bearings, where they return again and again. The specific
arrangement of these elements, the links among them, and the character
of their landmarks distinguish one city from another.
In Downtown Denver, Civic Center Park flanked by the State Capitol
and the City and County Building, Cherry Creek with its walkways and
parkways, the South Platte River, Union Station, Larimer Square, the
16th Street Mall, the D&F Tower, the Denver Art Museum, and the
ANCHORS
Public buildings and parks traditionally anchor city streets, acting as the
destination points along a path. Two of Downtowns landmarks func-
tion as anchors to the Mall: Union Station in historic Lower Downtown,
and Civic Center Park. Downtowns largest urban open space and the
center for government.
18


7 have perceived cities as great works of art, as exciting and adventurous
dramas and theater events, which possess that ultimate creativity of allowing
participation, involvement, and the act of being inside the work of art itself."
iMwrence Halprin, landscape Architect
FRAMEWORK
Heritage Center are but a few of these landmarks of distinction.
Downtowns Framework is built on four key elements: the spine,
anchors, waterways, and connections.
The Framework organizes these elements into a comprehensive urban
pattern so that people and activities flow easily from one point to
another throughout Downtown. It is this flow which creates animated
THE WATERWAYS
Denvers original framework was determined try the confluence of the
Platte River and Cherry Creek at the foot of the Rocky Mountains.
Though these waterways are the reason for Denvers location, they have
lost much of their influence on development around them. These poten-
tially powerful assets are surrounded by underutilized land and are all
but invisible from Downtown.
This plan returns the power of the waterways by making them an integral
and unforgettable part of Downtown. There arc many national and world
examples of the benefits to cities of enhancing their water resources. In
Denver this potential is particularly acute. Water is a distinctive charac-
teristic of Denver, like the mountains and the color of our sky. It is the
element of relief in our arid atmosphere as the greenery of Central
Park is in the canyons of Manhattan, By recapturing our water ameni-
cily energy a nucleus attracting yet more activity and excitement.
The supply of active Downtown places creates the demand for more.
The activity and demand support private sector investments in commer-
cial, retail, and housing development, creating a strong economy and
a secure tax base for further improvements. The special urban environ-
ment becomes the place to be to work, shop, live, and play.
THE CONNECTIONS

/

/ '

t
>
ties, we will fulfil! a yearning in our environment and create the most
memorable element in Downtown Denver.
A system of connections or links completes the physical framework by
encouraging the flow of people and activity between Downtown's
activity centers and the Mall, its anchors and the waterways.
The connection system is a series of streets that are anchored by impor-
tant places in the life of the city. These anchors include cultural and
social facilities, parks, shopping districts, memorable landmarks in
Downtown and the neighborhoods. The streets between these anchors
and the private developments along them receive special treatment to
make them places that people seek out environments that draw you
into them and along a path from one destination to another the kind
of environment for which the Mall is renowned.
19


The old trolley routes demonstrate where Downtown was connected
to the neighborhoods, a concept of connection that is logical and
desirable in present day Denver.
FRAMEWORK
As a young city, Denver was connected well by its 250 miles of elec-
trified trolleys and interurban roadway. This system linked the major
amenities in Downtown and the close-in neighborhotxls. By 1930, the
system had been completely removed as transportation became oriented
to the automobile. Today, our roadways provide an effective grid for
auto traffic, but their lack of differentiation has left Downtown without
a clearly defined system of connections among inner-city activities and
to the neighborhoods. The I6th Street Mall and a small fragment at
Writer Square are the only links designed to draw pedestrians along
them.
In the heart of Downtown, the new connections will weave together
CORE CONNECTIONS
CONNECTIONS TO OPEN SPACE
CREATE COMPATIBLE
INFILL BUILDINGS
ANCHORS
H
Ut
U
06
K
x
fe
CREATE
ACTIVE
grouni;
FLOOR
USES.
RETAIL DISTRICT
FINANCIAL DISTRICT
20
ILLUSTRATION OF A TYPICAL CONNECTION STREET


19th Street
FRAMEWORK
activity centers such as the DCPA, Art Museum, Library, and Retail
District to the Mall and the waterways. Positive pedestrian links
between these places will draw people from one place to another, and
consequently encourage greater use of all Downtown.
An extension of the connections knits Downtown to the neighborhoods
beyond, encouraging lull use of the core by inner-city residents.
Through the underdeveloped transition zones surrounding the core, the
distinctive environment of these streets becomes an amenity unto itself
an attractive environment and predictable investment to which pri-
vate redevelopment can attach.
TRANSITION ZONE CONNECTIONS
CREATE PEDESTRIAN
TRIENTLI)
PATH: ADDITION OF
AMENITIES
STREETSCAPING
IX) PATH
IMPROVE AND
CREATE OPEN
SPACE FOR
PEDESTRIANS
CREATE
COMPATIBLE INFILL: ACTIVE
GROUND FLOOR USES, HEIGHT
AND BULK DECREASING
TOWARDS
NEIGHBORHOODS £
21


The yardstick is used to determine the suitability of a street for
a connection street designation. The illustration below indicates
compatible infill development that strengthens the overall connec-
tion through the transition zones to the neighborhoods.
FRAMEWORK
YARDSTICK FOR CONNECTIONS
Streets selected as connections should meet these criteria:
They should have the potential to become primarily pedestrian without
creating a major disruption of vehicular access, for example, by
widening sidewalks and reducing vehicular traffic.
PATH
addition of amenities and street-
scaping to the path itself;
They should link activity centers, landmarks, or parks in as direct a
line as possible along the path and at its ends, providing visual cues
that draw people along it.
The land uses along the paths are or must be able to be made active
and safe, for example, with housing and retail at street level, and with
the infill of vacant land.
DISTRICT
incentives for appropriate land
uses lining the path; and
The public right-of-way must be able to provide a pedestrian-oriented
path.
The intent of the connection system is to physically link amenities, dis-
tricts, and neighborhoods in a comprehensible system. This ultimately
creates a mutually reinforcing effect which makes the entire network
function better than any of its elements could alone.
The streets chosen will receive improvements to help them function as
links in the connection system. As the illustrations suggest those
improvements may include:
NODE
development or enhancement of the major
anchors at each end of the connection:
LANDMARK
improvement or addition of interim land-
marks along the path, such as a park, a
school or a shopping area:

T
EDGE
installation of transit circulators,
where appropriate.
CREATE COMPATIBLE INFILL:
ACTIVE GROUND FLOOR USES,
HEIGHT & BULK
DECREASING t-
TOWARDS £
NEIGHBORHOODS g
SONNY LAWSON
PARK: OPEN SPACE
ALONG PATH
5
3
PROMOTE
HOUSING
ALONG
CONNECTION
STREET
22
25TH STREET


"Streets should be far staying in, and not just for moving through, the way
they are today."
Christopher Alexander
FRAMEWORK
CURTIS STREET CONNECTION LOOKING TOWARD DOWNTOWN
CREATE INFILL BUILDING ON
VACANT LAND,
APPROPRIATE
USES INCLUDE
HOUSING & RETAIL
Ui
FIVE POINTS:
NEIGHBORHOOD
ACTIVITY CENTER
* '^^BfS^esiiasaLS^
H
U
m
at
REVITALIZE BUSINESS
DISTRICT:
uj
i
NEIGHBORHOOD BUSINESS DISTRICT
23


FRAMEWORK
OPEN SPACE
IN THE FRAMEWORK
Open space is a key contributor to each element of the Framework.
Downtown's open space is widespread; it includes parks, plazas, water-
fronts, and city streets. But like many of our other assets, it is not serv-
ing Denver at peak potential. Much open space is underutilized due to
isolation, design problems, or poor programming and management.
And some of our open space needs are poorly met because high land
costs have deterred the development of large assembly places in prime
locations. But many of these problems can be overcome with a sys-
tematic approach to the management of the space and relatively minor
physical changes.
DOWNTOWN PLAZAS
Downtown Plazas create public gathering spaces that bring buildings
into the social life of the city. The plants at 17th and California Streets,
the May D&F Plaza, the 17th Street Plaza, and Prudential Plaza are
examples. To function more fully as humanizing city elements, the more
underutilized plazas must be redesigned and upgraded. Zoning bonuses
for open space in the core should be changed to discourage isolated
plazas and a mechanism established to enable individual property
owners to consolidate their open space contributions dong streets desig-
nated as connections. Finally, these spaces should be managed and
programmed as a coordinated system.
DOWNTOWN PARKS
Downtowns parks include Civic Center Park and the Denver Center far
the Performing Aits Park. Their green space offers important relief in
the intense development of the city. Civic Center also should serve as
Downtowns major public square. But the benefits of these parks are
barely felt because they are isolated from our major activity'centcrs and
not well used. To fully take advantage of Downtown's parks, several
changes are required;
Connect each park to existing activity centers, especially the Mall, by
clear visual and pedestrian links. Those connections should include
inviting and safe access to the parks.
Initiate active public space management like that on the 16th Street
Mall, to coordinate maintenance, security, and programming of the
parks as tools to stimulate use. An important element is a recommit-
ment to programs such as Denver C.A.R.E.S. to aid the transient
population.
16th STREET MALL OPENING, 1982
Create strategically located new park space in Downtown, both large
and small scale. A major new park should be developed between
Union Station and the South Platte River, connecting Lower Down-
town to the River. In addition, we should add privately developed
pocket parks in a coordinated system throughout Downtown. As with
plazas, these spaces should be consolidated along connection streets,
rather than developed randomly. Occasionally they may be developed
as interim uses on vacant ground.
STREETS AND SIDEWALKS
In addition to our parks, plazas, and waterfronts, Denver's spacious
streets and sidewalks afford open space opportunities. As the Mall has
demonstrated, streets can be important gathering places. Even without
eliminating traffic, they can be a resource for activities such as sidewalk
cafes, performance areas, stages for art exhibits, and more spontaneous
gatherings. To promote tire street as a gathering place, connection system
streets will be planned to include such features as:
widened sidewalks in some areas, landscaping and other special
design treatment;
space design which responds to adjacent land uses, such as restaur-
ants and cafes to permit seating and other activities on the street;
temporary and permanent art; and
adjacent building design that maintains the feeling of spaciousness and
activity at street level.
24


"The park and parkway system (is) the product of the collective and individual
heritage of Denver's citizens: the parks and parkways have been, and are,
ldaces of public ceremony and of private memory."
1986 National Register Theme Nomination


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25


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FRAMEWORK
RIVER AND CREEK OPEN SPACE
As a result of the efforts of the Platte River Greenway Foundation,
Downtowns riverfront has been transformed from an unsightly back
door to attractive, recreational open space. But the barrier of the Platte
Valley rail yards keeps Confluence Park and the river trails from being
part of the daily life of Downtown, Developing the major new park
between Union Station and the river is an important step in overcom-
ing that barrier. In addition, throughout the Central Platte Valley, the
green area along the river should be expanded to provide more usable
open space.
The Cherry Creek waterfront is also an unrealized opportunity. It flows
through much of the Downtown area, in close proximity to major
activity centers within two blocks of the Mall at points. But it is res-
tricted to a narrow channel between retaining walls and lined with Speer
Boulevard's eight lanes of traffic. As a result, it is difficult to use as open
space, and difficult even to find. To transform it, the Creek front should
he expanded to include gathering places at key points: 11th Avenue, Cur-
tis Street, and Larimer Street and tied to the Downtown fabric beyond
Speer Boulevard along the connection streets. As illustrated, the Creek
itself should be enhanced at those points, for example, by shallow pool-
ing ol" the water.
Other improvements along the Creeks course through Lower Downtown
and the Platte Valley can bring the waterway directly to adjacent land
uses with a new riverwalk atmosphere. Specifically, Speer Boulevard
traffic should not be allowed to become a greater barrier to peoples use
of the Creek front.
By recapturing our water amenities, we will fulfill a yearning in our
environment and create the most memorable element in Downtown
Denver.
Recapturing those waterways involves:
beautifying the waterfront landscape;
creating gathering places at strategic points along the waters edge;
overcoming the barriers that separate Downtown from the water
Speer Boulevard and the Platte Valley rail yards;
developing strong visual and pedestrian connections that draw peo-
ple between the Mall and the water; and
repealing the image of the waterways throughout Downtown, with
shallow pools, fountains, reservoirs, and channels along pedestrian
paths.
Signage improvements will also improve the use of the waterfront open
space, e.g. along the Mall and at other Downtown activity centers,
indicating access to the waterfront trails, and along the trails to iden-
tify Downtown attractions.
Open spaces in Denvers beautiful climate and setting are particularly
appreciated. They add memorable charm and uplifting spirit to city life.
26


But to Denver, water is the tine between life and death," So impor-
tant is this story that it has been recorded in the rotunda of the
State Capitol in a series of eight murals painted by Allen True and
captioned by Thomas Hornsby Ferril with poetic couplets.
Here is a land where life is written in Water, the West is where
the Water tts and is .
Thomas Hornsby Ferril
Z7


cnmMinJkm
VALUV
FRAMEWORK
HOUSING IN THE FRAMEWORK
Downtown housing development is the most obstinate hurdle to creat-
ing the rich mix of uses that reinforce each other in an active Down-
town. But for many reasons Downtown housing may represent the
threshold for achieving the full realization of our vision.
Denver's experience and that of other cities without a tradition of down-
town living suggest the agenda for overcoming those obstacles:
Develop new Downtown retail and other entertainment amenities.
Recent analysis hy Real Estate Research Corp. found the development
of new downtown retail is the strongest factor in the success of down-
town housing in cities without that tradition. The quickening of lease-
up in Downtown Denver housing since the opening of Tabor Center
and Tivoli support that conclusion. It also suggests we may be entering
a new stage of readiness for Downtown housing.
Create neighborhoods, not just housing units. Layout programs for
specific districts to develop 2,000 units or more over time, with serv-
ices, amenities, neighborhood scale streets, and a predictable schedule
of routine and special capital improvements. Encourage a mix of hous-
ing types, including rentals and sale units, stacked townhomes, mid-
rise and high-rise buildings.
Focus efforts on developing that neighborhood climate in one core
area and one transition zone at a time. This focusing builds market
recognition of success at a neighborhood scale.
Develop housing targeted to the broad middle-income segment of the
market to achieve critical mass.
Assure new housing development by committing public investment to
the task of neighborhood building. A development mechanism and on-
going revenue sLream should be targeted to assure housing develop-
ment according to the district programs.
POTENTIAL DOWNTOWN AREAS
FOR HOUSING DEVELOPMENT
Dowtumn Core. Housing in the core is the strongest lest of the Down-
town market. Lower Downtown offers the best potential for housing
of any of the core districts. It is near the action of Downtown, but is
protected from the most intense commercial areas, and has distinc-
tive character, scale, and available services. Because Lower Down-
town is the cores last remaining historic area, it is critical that new
housing development is in keeping with preservation goals.
In addition to the 1200 units in the area now. Lower Downtown can
produce 1,000-2,000 new units.
Transition Areas. The transition zones in the Downtown area offer
substantial amounts of vacant or underdeveloped land close to the
core, but at lower land prices. They usually will require greater effort
to create a neighborhood, due to a lack of distinctive character, serv-
ices, and amenities. But large scale development in these areas, espe-
cially in housing, has the added benefit of eliminating the barrier
between Downtown and the neighborhoods. As the connection streets
are improved, they will provide the first amenities to which housing
DOWNTOWN HOUSING
development can attach. Some of these areas have existing housing
units that can be preserved and connected. Most have the land area
to produce the desired scale of new housing.
The following list represents targets for the number of units that might
be achieved given available land areas anti existing conditions that
should be maintained,
Central Platte Valley:
4300-5500 units
Golden Triangle;
2000-3000 units
Inner Curtis ftrk (Arapahoe Triangle);
1000-2000 units
Inner Uptown-on-the Hill:
750*2000 units
Clements Park (Arapahoe Triangle):
300-500 units
Upper Larimer (Arapahoe Triangle):
150-300 units
The development of housing in the Downtown area should not be con-
sidered to be in lieu of residential improvements in the existing neigh-
borhoods in Denver. Downtowns future is vitally linked to the health
of the citys neighborhoods, many of which offer opportunities for
infill housing development as well.
28


Originally Denver was a city of homes located in, and surrounding
Downtown. Today the core is separated from the neighborhoods by
a ring of underdeveloped land which creates physical and psycho-
logical barriers. The plan eliminates the barriers by creating new
neighborhoods.

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29


ACCESS
PRINCIPLES FOR DOWNTOWN
TRANSPORTATION AND DEVELOPMENT
Downtown's vision for the Tutu re includes substantial improvements in
the way we get to and move around in Downtown.
Improvements to the Down-
town transportation system
should be consistent with
the following principles:
Transportation policies
and facilities should stim-
ulate a significant increase
in use of transit and
ridesharing.
MauMpni
The regional rapid transit system should
serve Downtown directly without the need
to transfer, particularly near the Dowtt-
towtt end of the trip. Eliminating transfers
beyond the vicinity of home is a major fee-
tor in adding convenience and improving
travel time for the system two charac-
teristics that are particularly influential in
attracting new riders.
Downtown should be easy to reach by car
to maintain its competitive position in the
regional market.
Traffic should be brought directly to its
destination front the regional arterial sys-
tem to minimize through-traffic in Down-
town districts and neighborhoods. For
example, tmffic destined for the Financial
District should not be routed through
Lower Downtown.
A balance should be maintained between
vehicular and pedestrian space in Down-
town, This will permit reducing or
eliminating auto traffic on some streets.
For the foreseeable future, commuters and visitors will remain Down-
towns primary market. Quality access by transit and automobile is a
prerequisite to the successful future for Downtown Denver. It is an
important ingredient in Downtowns future as an economic center. Its
also a key factor in the way users feel about Downtown, and their ability
to take advantage of its entertainment, education, and employment
opportunities. The challenge is to provide that access in harmony with
our concerns for air quality, mountain views, urban beauty, and the
strength of our neighborhoods.
By the year 2000, peak hour automobile trips to Downtown will exceed
the existing capacity of the arterial road system by nearly 50%, This
means that if street capacity and current commuting patterns remain
roughly as they are today, access to Downtown would be difficult or vir-
tually impossible for much of the day. The situation would be similar
or worse for all the other employment and activity centers in the
metro area.
If the percentage of commuters who drive alone continues at present
levels, we will need to find an additional 38 lanes of highway capacity
into and out of Downtown. This prospect is unacceptable for its effects
on both Downtown and the neighborhoods. A balanced combination of
improved auto capacity and increased use of transit and ridesharing is
needed to respond to our increasing access demands.
DRIVE ALONE -
45.5%
CAR/VANPQOL-
21%
BUS TRANSIT -
27.5%
38 LANES OF ROADWAY
DRIVE ALONE -
25%
CAR/VANPOOL -
30%
BUS TRANSIT -
39%
------- 0 LANES OF ROADWAY
30


II is imperative that good access to, from, and within Downtown be
maintained. It is equally important that access be an integral part
of the plan to strengthen the overall urban design and economic
strategy.
ACCESS
CONCLUSIONS: ACCESS NEEDS
All highway corridors have some problem congestion points requiring
attention.
Roadways entering the Downtown area from the southeast, southwest, and
northwest will require additional capacity.
Peak hour transit ridership to the Downtown area mnsl be doubled by the
year 2000, from 12,500 per hour (approximately 25% of hourly com-
muters) to 25,000 per hour (approximately 36%).
Average auto occupancy must be increased before the year 2000 from the
present 1,15 to at ieast 1,3 persons per vehicle during peak periods.
DOWNTOWN ROADWAY SYSTEM
An analysis of roadway capacities and projected demands reveals signifi-
cant deficiencies on roadways providing access into Downtown, particularly
from the southeast, southwest, and northwest.
Capacity and efficiency improvements should be made at key traffic con-
gestion points and along the primary roadway corridors leading into Down-
town. These improvements will provide incremental increases in overall
roadway capacity. But they will only make the roadway system work if they
are combined with a simultaneous shift of a substantial proportion of com-
muters from single occupant auto to transit and ridesharing. The roadway
access plan contains three major components, described below.
DMAN0
=4100
CAPACITY
=4*00
CAPACITY
= 5700
DEMAND
= 0100
CAPACITY
=5400
W
DEMAHD
>1300
capacity
=4000
* = MAJOR DEFICIENCY
N
DEMAND
= 3710
NW
NE
CAPACITY
= 2400
DEMAND
*7000
E
V
SW SE
| j CAPACITY
*7100
DEMAND
= 1500
DEMAND
*7100 CAPACITY
CONGESTION POINTS
Within each of the corridors where capacity deficiencies have been noted,
there are one or more key congestion points (bottlenecks) or substandard
sections which will need significant improvement. We must eliminate bot-
tlenecks that:
are located on corridors projected to have access deficiencies;
can be improved in a manner consistent with Downtown Plan principles;
are realistically reducible; and
are the obstacles to major increases in roadway capacity.
Based on those criteria, all of the following intersections should be recon-
structed to reduce bottlenecks prior to the year 2000. The first four are most
critical;
PROJECT LOCATION
Col tax/Speer
Champa/Stoul bottleneck
(critical; New Colfax/1-25
Interchange will greatly
exacerbate the problem.)
6th/Lincoln/Speer bottleneck
(critical; Severely congested.)
8lh/Bannock/Speer (critical.)
<3
, <9>
/
DEFICIENCY ADDRESSED
SE/SW Access
SE Access
SE Access
DOWNTOWN ACCESS DEFICIENCIES
KEY TRAFFIC BOTTLENECKS
31


ACCESS
PROJECT LOCATION
19th/20th Corridor bottlenecks
ai 1-25, California & Broadway
(critical: Could become a major
bus and high occupancy vehicle
access route to Downtown.)
l8th/Tremont/Broadway
Fox/23rd Corridor bottlenecks
at 1-25, Arapahoe & Broadway
Col fax/Broad way/Lincoln
bottleneck
Speer/Blake/Market/Larimer
DEFICIENCY ADDRESSED
NW Access
Internal Circulation
NW Access
SE Access
SE/SW Access
In addition to these specific intersection improvements, consideration
should be given to the potential to increase traffic capacity by:
* updating and coordinating the overall traffic signalization system; and
eliminating the "all-walk" signal phase in areas of low pedestrian
volumes.
STRATEGIC NEW ROADWAY PROJECTS
Of the broad range of project ideas, the following roadway suggestions
deserve detailed attention because of their potential to deal with capacity
deficiencies within the context of our long-term goals for Downtown.
Lincoln/Broadway Grand Parkway from 1-25 into Downtown. This
idea for further study envisions a major land-use development and road-
way consolidation in the corridor between Acoma and Sherman. This
project would improve vehicular access from the southeast and stimulate
opportunities for redevelopment of this corridor. This concept includes
a possible landscaped transitway at-gradc in the center of the parkway,
that would serve Downtown and provide access to the south.
A new roadway in the Platte Valley behind Union Station, con-
netting Speer Blvd. and 20th Street. This would provide additional
access into Lower Downtown and the Platte Valley without encourag-
ing trips to cut through non-destination areas. This is also a major
component of the Downtown ring road concept described below.
A major roadway improvement to Downtown from the SE/SW.
Significantly increase capacity around Downtown and effectively add
more southwest radial access into Downtown along 1-25 or a parallel
corridor.
Extension of the !31h/l4th Avenue One-Way Arterial Pair to Fed-
eral Boulevard. This concept would improve auto access by providing
a much needed reconnection of the southwestern street grid with that
of Downtown, and reversing the direction of 13th/14th Avenues
between Yoscmite and Federal to conform to typical turning expec-
tations for one-way streets.
In addition to the projects noted, improvements to a number of regional
corridors leading into Downtown, particularly those serving the
southeast, southwest, and northwest quadrants, deserve further attention:
NORTHWEST QUADRANT
23rd Street, 1-25 to Downtown
I9th/20th Street corridor, 1-25 to Downtown
Speer Boulevard, 1-25 to Colfax
SOUTHEAST /SOUTHWEST QUADRANTS
W 17th Avenue. 1-25 to the Central Platte Valley
Auraria Parkway, 7th Street to Lower Downtown/Skyline
Colfax Avenue, 1-25 to mid-Downtown
New roadway in the central rail yards corridor
Chcrokee/Delaware, upgraded one-way pair from Speer to Colfax
(Upper Downtown)
OX 23RD
CHAMPA/
STOUT
^m ^ 13TH 14TH
EFFECTIVELY
INPROVE RADIAL
ROADWAY ACCESS
FROM SW SE
LINCOLN
BROADWAY
GRAND
PARKWAY
STRATEGIC NEW ROADWAY PROJECTS
32


With the exception of the steam railways, no institution has done so much
for the upbuilding of Denver as the street railway system .
Tbm Smiley, History of Denver, 190}
ACCESS
DOWNTOWN RING ROAD
To allow traffic to reach each district of Downtown without having to
cross through others, further study should be given to a Downtown Ring
Road, using the existing roadways that are generally at the edges of the
Downtown core:
Speer Boulevard from behind Union Station to the 13th/!4th Avenues
one-way pair;
I3th/14th Avenue one-way pair, between Broadway/Lin coin;
Broadway/Lincoln between 13th/14th and 19th/20th;
I9th/20th Streets between Broadway/Lincoln and Union Station; and
the new Platte Valley roadway, behind Union Station from 19th/20th
to Speer Boulevard.
These facilities are each key elements of the regional corridor connec-
tions to Downtown. They also can function as a loop to improve acces-
sibility from any given corridor to individual Downtown districts.
Through special paving treatment, landscaping, and signing, this loop
can be highly visible to the motorist as a means to become reoriented
to the Downtown grid. The ring road would be to Downtown what a
well landscaped and signed airport access road is for a traveler look-
ing for a particular airline.
REGIONAL RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM
The metropolitan area, the city and Downtown need a premium qual-
ity regional rapid transit system providing direct service into Downtown
without a transfer. Such a system has the ability to attract enough new
riders that our access needs can be met with limited building of new
highways. It can bring new joint development opportunities, to help
reactivate the central core, and direct new growth to preferred areas.
This regional rapid transit system must provide both reduced travel time
and superior access directly into the core area. It must carry at least
50,000 peak-hour regional riders into Downtown, and be able to add
capacity. This will require a grade separated system. Such a system will
meet Downtown needs over the next thirty to fifty years, and therefore
should be designed to carry a variety of transit vehicles.
In order to achieve the needed carrying capacity without subverting
other Downtown development objectives, the Downtown component of
this regional transit system should consist of:
a high-capacity, below-grade transit line along the 15th Street corridor;
continued use of the 16th Street Mall;
a new transit mall on a named" street in the core area.
In addition to these regional elements, internal Downtown circulation
needs will require shuttle bus and perhaps higher level services.
Incremental projects designed to improve circulation within specific dis-
tricts and subareas (such as the proposed Auraria monorail) should be
evaluated as opportunities to improve overall Downtown circulation.
FIFTEENTH STREET GRADE-SEPARATED
TRANSIT FACILITY
This should provide high capacity through-service in Downtown.
Through-service (without the need for transfers) adds convenience and
reduces travel time on the system factors that are critical to capture
the more discretionary rider, whose use of transit is a key to making 'he
regional access plan work.
Grade-separation is necessary in order to provide a system capacity of
up to 40,000 persons per hour (20000 per direction) in Downtown, On
the basis of the impact on the Downtown community, this component
of the regional system should be below-grade, rather than elevated.
While a below grade solution is clearly preferable, a detailed analysis
necessary to affirm such a system should address urban design and eco-
nomic impacts, system costs, constructability, construction time, and the
ability to link the Downtown component to the technologies used in each
of the regional system corridors without a transfer.
RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM
33


TROLLEY SYSTEM: CENTRAL LOOP STATION
ACCESS
The system should be located in the 15th Street corridor. An alignment
parallel to the Mall provides the most efficient service to current and
projected development in the Downtown area. It provides excellent high-
capacity transit access between Downtown and major regional destina-
tions, and connects important Downtown activity and development
centers, including:
the redeveloped Platte Valley
Larimer Square-Writer Square-Tabor Center, Auraria and Tivoli
the DCPA and Currigan Hall
California Street, Downtowns center of employment,
Civic Center, the Denver Public Library and the Art Museum
Denver General Hospital
The I5lh Street location specifically would:
draw riders through the Retail District to reach the major employment
center, the Financial District;
generate traffic in the Silver Triangle, where redevelopment Is desired;
and
provide opportunities for joint development of several blocks as the
I5th-16th Street corridor redevelops, combining public transit cor-
ridors and stations with private buildings.
With these benefits, the 15th Street below grade transit line offers an
opportunity to achieve many of the objectives of the Framework while
creating the key element in our transportation system for the year 2000.
Due to the extended lead time needed for projects of this type,
implementation planning for this component of tire overall system should
begin quickly.
THE SIXTEENTH STREET MALL
The Sixteenth Street Mall should continue to function as both a key link
in the regional bus system and an important Downtown circulator.
In the future, the Mall terminals can accommodate LTD bus routes, cen-
tral area circulators, local routes, and express routes from corridors not
served by fixed guideway transit lines. But current shuttle bus volumes
on the Mall are near maximum. Higher volumes would be detrimen-
tal to the character and functioning of the Mall.
NEW TRANSIT MALL
A new facility to expand Downtown transit capacity beyond that
provided by the Sixteenth Street Mall is likely to be a necessary invest-
ment in the near future. The development of the 15th Street grade sepa-
rated transit corridor could be a long-term project. During that time,
ridership growth is projected to exceed the practical or desirable capacity
of the 16th Street Mall. Therefore, a transit street should be developed
on a cross-Mali named" street. This facility should be designed to
carry 20,000 transit riders with an enlarged pedestrian and waiting
capacity. Volumes in excess of this level must be accommodated by the
15th Street facility, in order to prevent operation that is disruptive to the
fabric of Downtown and hampers automobile and pedestrian flow.
The transit street should be a quality urban design asset to the area, with
widened sidewalks, bus stop amenities, treatment for peak hour tran-
sit vehicle priority, and other pedestrian amenities.
To meet standards for convenient service, the selected street should be
located in Upper Downtown (e.g. between Stout and Glenarm Streets).
California Street provides a unique opportunity for transit street treat-
ment, and should be given full consideration. It conveniently serves the
trip destination pattern, and removing it from the roadway system at
peak hour would cause a relatively small loss of auto capacity
Downtown.
Constructing this rapid transit system is the key to assuring that Down-
town remains accessible and the Denver region remains economically
alive. It is a bold stroke one that is needed to meet one of our most
critical needs.
CALIFORNIA ST. TRANSIT MALL


The illustration below introduces a major joint development oppor-
tunity, an idea that warrants further study. This concept integrates
the goals of the access plan with those of the Retail District and the
Silver Triangle.
ACCESS
THE 15TH STREET TRANSIT CORRIDOR AS
A MAJOR URBAN DEVELOPMENT ELEMENT
The new 15th Street Transit Corridor wilt
provide excellent high capacity access
between Downtown and major regional
destinations. It will also connect key
Downtown activity/development centers
such as:
the redeveloped Platte Valley
Larimer Square. Writer Square
and Tabor Center
the DCPA, and California Street, Down-
town's center of employment
Civic Center, The Denver Public Library
and the Art Museum, and
Denver General Hospital.
Construction of the 15th Street facility offers an opportunity to integrate
this new transit corridor with the 16th Street Mail and serve the grow-
ing volume of pedestrian traffic as the Mall reaches its overflow point.
One opportunity deserves further study: creating a continuous multi-
block retail spine at mid-block between 15th and 16th Streets, as an
extension of the Mail and a direct station mezzanine to the transit
system.
35


ACCESS
Pedestrian traffic on the Mall is close to capacity. The 15th Street Transit
Corridor and the new transit mall will relieve the demands on the Mall
shuttle bus system. And the connection system streets will provide new
opportunities for pedestrian life radiating from the Mall. But as pedes-
trian traffic grows, we will also need an active pedestrian link that flows
the length of Downtown, through the Reiail District.
The demands on our roadway system make it impossible to reduce or
eliminate auto traffic on 15th or 17th Streets to create a new parallel
Mall. The mid-block retail spine creates the opportunity to meet that
demand with a space that has the feeling of a parallel extension of the
Mall itself, but is below surface.
Extending through most of the Retail District, this link creates a retail
galleria that would handle the overflow of pedestrians as several blocks
along the Mall arc redeveloped with major commercial projects that
increase demands on the Mall. It will form an active retail link among
those developments and an attractive connection between the Mall and
the transit corridor. It should be aligned behind the many historic build-
ings on the Mall, enabling development density to rise behind that point,
preserving both the remaining historic frontage and sunlight on the
Mall. This will also allow the galleria to be designed to be open to
skylight.
The galleria concept offers the potential of combining the positive ele-
ments of access, land use, and urban design to create an important fea-
ture of Downtown and address the problems of success caused by the
Malls popularity.
SECTION THROUGH THE 15TH & 16TH STREET JOINT DEVELOPMENT TRANSIT CORRIDOR
36


ACCESS
PARKING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Forking is a persistent need in the Downtown access system. It surfaces
as a problem for shoppers, employees, tourists, and day-trip visitors.
The nearly 40,000 off-street parking spaces in the Downtown core more
than meet todays demand; vacancies are high in a number of new park-
ing garages. In the context of the access plan for Downtown, that sup-
ply will continue to be adequate. The problem in parking is less one of
supply than of management. The problem;
The parking system favors commuters over shoppers, clients, or visi-
tors. Rate structures often make it as expensive to park for three hours
as for a full day. With that incentive, commuters, the First drivers to
arrive, fill the most desirable spaces close to the Mall and 17th
Street. By the time shoppers and visitors arrive, only less desirable
outlying spaces are available.
Denvers on-strcet meter rates are low substantially below those of
many cities our size. In some cases it is less expensive to park at a
meter for several hours than in an off-street lot. The result is that on-
street spaces, which should be available for the driver making only
a quick stop for an errand, are being monopolized by longer-term
parkers who would otherwise be satisfied in off-street lots.
The parking validation program is poorly used by merchants and bus-
inesses because, with the wide variety of parking rates Downtown, it
is difficult to control the cost of the program to the validator. As a
result, it cannot be widely promoted without risk of consumer alie-
nation on discovering that many retailers dont participate.
To overcome these obstacles. Downtown needs an agrcssivc parking
management program. The heart of the system is a proposed new pub-
lic/private Downtown Forking Council that links the various interests of
the Downtown business community in parking retailers, business and
employers, parking operators, property owners, and developers with
the City. The Council would administer those interests in a comprehen-
sive parking strategy which would:
Convert some close-in, off-street lots to short-term parking, with a rate
structure to discourage long-term parking.
Install coordinated signage to identify short-term lots, with uniform
descriptions of rates, and pathfinder signs.
Enhance The Denver Partnership's existing validation program and
increase business participation in it, by negotiating a structure in
which the value of an hour's validation is standardized and the level
of subsidy required by the validator is limited.
Because parking is not systematically located, it is hard to find for the
uninitiated, and rates are often inscrutable due to the variety of sign-
age and rate descriptions.
Actively promote the parking system and validation program.
In addition to this thrust for short-term parking, the Downtown Park-
ing Council would coordinate commuter parking, including parking
incentives for ridesharers. It would advise the City on parking policy,
regulation and enforcement.
As with many of the needs facing Downtown, the resources exist to
eliminate the complaint, "no place to park. The challenge is to bridge
the diverse interests involved in the issue and organize them into a sys-
tem that puts parking where consumers want it, and makes it easy
to use.
37


LOWER
DT
FINANCIAL
RETAIL
AURARIA
CAMPUS SILVER
TRIANGLE
DISTRICT LOCATION MAP
DISTRICTS
Downtown is composed of a number of districts, easily identifiable, with
each contributing a special character or use to an exciting mosaic. This
distinctiveness helps to orient us in the city, and reduces Downtown to
understandable hits. The districts can generally be divided in two
categories:
. THE CORE DISTRICTS
' Retail District -1
- Civic Center
- Lower Downtown
* Financial District
Silver Triangle
* Auraria Higher Education Center
THE TRANSITION ZONES
Golden Triangle
- Central Plane Valley
a Inner Uptown on the Hill
,__ Arapahoe Triangle
The Core Districts make up the heart of Downtown, with the major
shopping areas, government and business centers, and an educational
campus. Also included is Downtown's last remaining commercial
historic area. Lower Downtown, and the Silver Triangle the area
identified for the next phase expansion of the Financial District.
These core districts arc bound in the Ran by the in-town connection sys-
tem, die vehicle by which Downtown's activity centers can work as a
network, making the whole greater than its parts.
In addition to the Core and Transition Zone Districts, several close-in
neighborhoods border Downtown. The Plan docs not presume to plan
these neighborhoods, which have extensive planning efforts of their own.
But the Downtown Area Plan is coordinated with those efforts. Special
consideration has been given to the definition of edges in places where
Downtown may encroach on the neighborhoods. The last leg of the con-
nection system extends into the neighborhoods, bringing Downtown
back to the culture of the neighborhoods and providing an invitation for
close-in residents to enjoy all that Downtown has to offer.
OVERALL ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
in addition to the specific plans for each district that follow, (here are
a number of important issues and recommendations which apply to all
of the districts.
The district plans are designed to reinforce or create the district iden-
tities that distinguish each district from the other.
To be consisteni with those visions, modifications will be needed in
existing zoning and development regulations, recognizing the different
roles and character of each district. To reinforce the district identities,
zoning categories should be labelled with more understandable district-
specific labels, (for example. Lower Downtown rather than B-7.)
Recognizable entries are needed for each district as well. One example
is the Welcome Arch which once stood in front of Union Station,
although most entries would not be that dramatic.
In every district, the principles of the Constitution, the Plans values,
apply. The need to celebrate the street and the outdoors, to maintain our
relationship to the mountains, the sky, and our historic past shapes each
district image.
Downtown's existing sky bridges are not consistent with those princi-
ples and should be removed. Similar second-level connections should
be discouraged in general, except where some overriding benefit can-
not be achieved in a project without such a connection. And a preser-
vation mechanism is needed for individual historic buildings throughout
the area, including a notification system for demolition.
Contributing Building
Existing Waterway
Water Amenities
Building Edge
KEY TO THE URBAN DESIGN DIAGRAMS
Open Space
Relative Heights
38


1876-7
The first cross town street car up 16th ultimately attracted retail making 16th
Street the spine of Downtown.
-T.J. Noel
1880's
Ixirimer Street entered its hayday as the grandest thoroughfare between
Chicago and San Francisco. 1/irimer Street also had the best restaurants (Del-
monict/s of the West and the Manhattan), and the best department stores
(D&F Stores Company, Joslin's Dry Goods Company, and The Denver Dry
Goods).
T.J. Noel, Denver's Larimer Square. 1981
DISTRICTS
RETAIL
DISTRICT
A
New
Shopping
Tradition
RELATIONSHIP
TO THE
FRAMEWORK PLAN
The 16th Street Mall is the activity
spine rtf the Retail District, as well
as the entire Downtown core. 'Die
grouping of Iatxir Center. Writer
and Larimer Squares on Larimer
Street, sets the stage for the first
link of the connection system.
Improvements to the blank nulls
between 15th and 16th on Larimer
Street, will establish a {kith from
the Mall to Cherry Creek, which
nil! ctmlribute to the area's overall
activity. On the other side of
Larimer Square, must he a creek-
side mixed-use development to
serve Downtown residents and
tourists, ami draw jteopk from the
Mail all the way to the Creek.
The 15th Street Transit Corridor
draws transit uses across the Retail
District and prepares for the day
.when the Mail is ar capacity as a
pedestrian link. It offers the poten-
tial to knit the Retail District
togedier with an additional retail
spine below-grade.
CHARACTER SKETCH
The Retail District runs along the 16th Street Mall, and is defined at one
end by the May D&F department store, and at the other by the com-
plex of Tabor Center, Writer Square, and Larimer Square, it is Down-
town's major shopping area, with three major anchor department stores
and a variety of restaurants and specialty shops. The Malls free shut-
tle bus system tics the district and encourages shoppers to use its full
length.
Retail is the heart of Dow ntown, the magnet for the city as a center for
social interaction and a major amenity lor all other Downtown
development.
DOWNTOWN RETAIL
39


DISTRICTS
ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The Retail District is not living up to its potential as a major base
for Downtown or as a revenue producer because it needs additional
anchor stores, and it lacks coordinated store hours and promotions.
To improve the draw to existing Downtown retail, two to four
new anchor stores should be developed. Public investment will
be necessary to attract these stores. Downtowns common pub-
lic space management and promotions should be expanded to
include common store hours and more extensive promotions to
enable Downtown retail to work as a system. A broad range of
retail facilities would serve the regional and neighborhood mar-
kets, and draw a greater number of people to the district.
PROPOSED NEW RETAIL ANCHOR
40


1930
16th Street, the retail shopping center, a thoroughfare of infinite charm, of
action and brilliant life, is given over to smart shops, towering office buildings
and department stores, which through their affiliations and offices in the mar-
ket capitals of the world, ate comparable to the proudest stores in New York."
Denver Chamber of Commerce: Distinctive Denver, 1925
1982
16th Street Mall opens, revitalizing the historic retail district.
DISTRICTS
Short-term parking is not well located or marketed for retail use.
Rates are too high in proportion to the prevailing long-term rate
structures.
The previously described Downtown Parking Council should
be formed to manage and promote off-street parking. The
Council should:
Create short-term shopper/visitor parking lots adjacent to the
Mall, with coordinated, easy to read signage.
Install pathfinder sigas throughout Downtown, directing visitors
to the short-term lots.
Enhance the Downtown parking validation system by standardiz-
ing the cost to validators and parking operators.
Actively promote Downtown parking and validation system.
Structure on-street meter rates and enforcement to encourage
turn-over and support the activities of the Downtown Parking
Council.
Retail frontages along the Mall are interrupted by several dead spots
that deter the flow of shoppers from one end of die Mall to the other.
New development in the retail district should concentrate on fill-
ing the gaps in frontage front Court to Larimer Streets. Next,
development should be encouraged along the connection streets
adjacent to the Mall.
The outdoor character of the Mall is endangered by the possible loss
of sunlight on the Mall as the properties on its south side are redeve-
loped. Historic buildings which distinguish the retail district as a spe-
cial shopping place could also be lost to new development.
The massing of new buildings along the south side of the Mall
should permit sunlight to reach the street between 10:00 a.m. and
2:00 p.m. With that massing, existing historic buildings should
be preserved along the Mall to maintain the distinctive charac-
ter of the Mall.
The location of the retail district is not obvious to infrequent visitors.
Design stronger entrances to the Retail District, and understand-
able pedestrian connections to adjacent activity centers and
close-in neighborhoods.
41


The joint development idea discussed in the Access section is illus-
trated on these two pages. The illustration on the left shows the
parallel pedestrian galleria directly behind the liistoric buildings on
the 16th Street Mall. The illustration on the right is a view within
the galleria.
DISTRICTS
The day is approaching when the Mall will no longer be able to han-
dle the demands of pedestrians and shoppers.
Although the 16th Street Mall should continue to function as
both a key link in the regional bus system and an important
Downtown circulator, a second pedestrian path will be needed in
the Retail District. The 15th Street Transit Corridor provides the
opportunity to meet that need with a below-grade connection,
mid-block between 15th and 16th Streets, to link retail along the
south side of the Mall with a continuous indoor pathway. An
active retail galleria running the length of this corridor could
connect new private development with transit stations and pro-
vide a pleasant path between transit and shopping.
42


The cross section below indicates the horizontal relationship
between:
* the below grade transit corridor on 15th Street;
* structured parking above and below grade in conjunction with
new office development, linked to (he employment center via the
Retail District;
* a retail galleria;
* the 16th Street Mail.
The integration of transit, office, retail, public space, and parking
reinforces each individual function in the core. The resultant con-
centrated activity increases the excitement of a dense urban place
and makes it even more attractive to people, business and new
development.
DISTRICTS
SECTION THROUGH THE 15TH & 16TH STREET JOINT DEVELOPMENT TRANSIT CORRIDOR
43


DISTRICTS
CIVIC
CENTER
Government
on the Green
RELATIONSHIP
TO THE
FRAMEWORK PLAN
The Framework Plan identifies
Civic Center as one of hvo anchors
to the Idth Street Mall. To realize
the Molls fitII potential as a spine
for Downtown, it must he linked
more strongly to the /Mirk. Physical
improvements along Cleveland
Place, and across Colfax Avenue
must create an inviting pedestrian
path to the park, connecting it to
the Mall. This could convert Civic
Center Park from a traffic island
into more usable city open space.
With redesign and new program-
ming. active uses will enhance the
park, making the next link, to the
Ait Museum and Library across
the park, a natural one.
CHARACTER SKETCH
Civic Center is one of the most memorable districts in Downtown
because of the concentration of major public buildings surrounding
Downtown's largest open space. Civic Center is located south of the 16th
Street Mall, extending from Colfax to W. 13th Avenue, The east and
west ends of the district are defined by the State Capitol Building and
the United States Mint, respectively. Its theme is set by Civic Center
Park, a formal green space surrounded by the Capitol, the Main Pub-
lic Library, Art Museum, and the City and County Building. The design
is classical and grew out of the City Beautiful movement of the early
1900s.
As the center of government for both the City and the State, Civic
Center provides a focus and attraction of which all Colorado residents
are proud. The park is the largest developed open space adjacent to
Downtown and has the potential to be an exciting gathering place and
one of Downtown's best used amenities.
ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Civic Center Park is generally underutilized and needs improvement
and programming to make it a more active place.
Civic Center should be magnified as an urban centerpiece and
reinforced as an anchor to Downtown. Adjacent development in
the Silver and Golden THangles should take advantage of the
parks presence and reinforce its influence as a magnet for people
and activity.
Civic Centers park and plaza areas should he upgraded. A cohe-
sive system of street furniture and lighting will establish a
stronger image for the park. A detailed design plan will be
required.
CIVIC CENTER CONNECTION TO
GOLDEN TRIANGLE AT THE ART MUSEUM
44


1916
In the heart of the city, (Mayor) Speer proposed a park-like Civic Center
(with) gardens, monuments, a library, fountains, and an outdoor Greek
theatre. 'Why the hell does Denver need a Greek theatre? sniped one of
Speers critics; We aint got that many Greeks here.
T. J. Noel, Denver: Rocky Mountain Gold, 1980
DISTRICTS
A public space management entity should develop and promote
activities within the park. New uses, activities, and amenties
should be developed in the park and Water Board Building to
generate nighttime activity and increase safety.
Bannock Street, Broadway, and Lincoln Street surrounding the dis-
trict carry high volumes of traffic and act as a barrier for use of the
park. Although only one block away, the park is nearly invisible from
the Mall.
Street and intersection improvements are needed to overcome the
harriers of the Colfax and 14th Avenue crossings for easier pedes-
trian access to the park. Improvements along Cleveland Place
from the Mall to the park will connect the park to the heart of
Downtown.
Parking which serves Civic Center is insufficient and inconvenient.
Below-grade parking immediately nurth of the park between
Broadway and 14th Street would tie into the existing Radisson
Building.
Expanding goveminent uses might intrude on adjacent neighborhtxxls.
Concentrate new Civic Center state, city, and private commer-
cial development in the Silver and Golden Triangles to avoid the
impact on adjacent neighborhoods.
CONNECTION ACROSS COLFAX AVENUE FROM CLEVELAND PLACE TO CIVIC CENTER PARK
45


*.u
DISTRICTS
LOWER
DOWNTOWN
Denvers
Birth
Place
RELATIONSHIP
TO THE
FRAMEWORK PLAN
Lower Downtowns Union Station
is one of the anchors to the 16th
Street Mall. To strengthen that
anchor and complete the connec-
tion of the Mall to the river, the
Mall should he extended to a
redeveloped Union Station and
then beyond it to the proposed
Denver Common and the Platte
River. Union Station, the symbolic
heart of Lower Downtown, should
be restored as a strong activity
center.
*
\
The Cherry Creek waterfront
should be redeveloped to influence
development in Lower Downtowti
once again.

The 16th Street gateway to Lower
Downtown at Larimer Street is
strengthened with improvements to
the blank tvalls between 15th and
16th Streets. This historically
important block has been erased by
new development, but can be
remodeled to include active uses.

CHARACTER SKETCH
Lower Downtown is located at the north end of the 16th Street Mall,
between Speer Boulevard and 20th Street, Larimer Square, and the Cen-
tral Platte Valley. It is the birthplace of the City of Denver and original
location for many of its urban institutions: City Hall, the Mint, com-
mercial and retail shops, and Constitution Hall. It is one of the most
sensitive and vulnerable districts in Downtown.
Lower Downtown contains a mix of uses, including office, retail,
restaurants, housing, and parking throughout. It is a traditional and
growing home to the design community. Because of its historic charac-
ter, human scale, and architectural detail, Lower Downtown can become
a rich pedestrian environment.
Lower Downtown is an asset to the entire city and region, the last
remaining historic commercial district in the Downtown core. Its historic
character is a pleasure for the whole region to enjoy and share with the
world. Its also a market asset to Downtown. The district must be
preserved and redeveloped through a package of actions that stimulate
new economic demand in Lower Downtown, and that protect its historic
character by preserving the existing buildings and promoting compat-
ible infill development.
LOWER DOWNTOWN AT MARKET STREET
46


ms
A smalt party of gold seekers claimed the area which is today Lower Down-
town, calling it St. Charles. Before the original party could obtain a legal town
charter. General Wiliam Larimer's party assumed the claim, and named it
Denver City.
1860's
Lower Downtown ttws the site of almost all of Denver's firsts: its jail, hospi-
tal (even though the first patient died), museum, post office, red light district,
first mint and bank, and the Elephant Corral the first transportation huh.
DISTRICTS
ISSUES
The unique historic character and scale of Lower Downtown is threa-
tened by the demolition of irreplaceable buildings. Lower Downtown has
the potential to be a distinctive mixed-use historic district, with a charac-
ter that creates a special market draw for development and leasing
and a people draw for both residents and tourists. The district as a whole
should be one of Denvers great landmarks the not-to-be-missed
place. To function in that fashion, a strong, critical mass of older build-
ings in the area must be preserved, restored and reactivated. The preser-
vation of only the "best" or most historic buildings will not meet
that need.
Currently, Lower Downtown market conditions are slow, and develop-
ment is at a virtual standstill. Its potential is largely untapped for the var-
ious land uses it should attract as the economy expands. It is an
important center for the design industry, and with its architectural
interest and central location should remain so. Its character, scale, and
existing concentration of restaurants make it a strong candidate as
Downtowns entertainment center. Of all the districts in the core, Lower
Downtown is the most logical for a Downtown residential neighbor-
hood, by virtue of its historic character, existing housing base, and prox-
imity to the action of Downtown while being removed from the most
intense commercial development. The character of new housing
development should be compatible with the preservation goals for Lower
Downtown.
Lower Downtown is currently affected by intense bus traffic to Market
Street Station, An increase is projected for both bus and auto traffic
going through, rather than to this district. Through traffic impedes its
future as an historic district, pedestrian environment, and residential
community.
DENVERS UNION STATION, 16TH STREET MALL ANCHOR
47


DISTRICTS
RECOMMENDATIONS
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Lower Downtown needs a new economic generator that will stimu-
late demand tor spin-off office, entertainment, retail, and residential
uses, and that will allow historic preservation to proceed. The City,
State, and business community should cooperate to identify and build
a development around resources in the area that could become that
economic driver.
The district should be marketed and managed as a cohesive whole
including public space management and programming, a marketing
package geared to both consumers and developmenl/tcnant prospects,
and on-site coordination of redevelopment. A specific management
structure should be designated on the model of the Mall Management
District.
Specific efforts should be geared to strengthening and attracting:
the design industry, building on the forces of cumulative attrac-
tion that already exist in Lower Downtown with its many architec-
ture and design firms and the prospects to augment that base with
the development of Design Center at the Ice House and Blake
Street Design District;
tourism, entertainment, and nightlile. building on the strength of
Larimer Square and Market Street, and Lower Downtown's repu-
tation as a restaurant district; and
housing.
Develop neighborhood housing at a scale in Lower Downtown that is
compatible with historic preservation, including a mix of housing
types and neighborhood amenities, and of both renovation and infill
new construction. Lower Downtown should be the prime residential
focus in the Downtown core.
Create an understandable program of assistance and economic incen-
tives for business development in Lower Downtown, including revolv-
ing loan funds.
Create economic incentives for building restoration in Lower Down-
town which may include designation as a National Historic District
to make federal tax benefits available to owners of buildings which
contribute to the historic character of the district, and enabling legis-
lation for deferral of property tax reassessment.
PRESERVATION
Historic structures and older buildings should be preserved. In Lower
Downtown, it is the concentration and continuity of older buildings
that must be preserved and enhanced. Because so much demolition
has occurred, it is not simply individual architectural gems that must
be saved, but the critical mass of remaining older buildings,
The existing low scale and historic character of the area should be
complemented by compatible infill and property redevelopment to cre-
ate a unified overall image. Public space improvements, such as a
coordinated system of street furniture, paving, lighting, and landscap-
ing, should reinforce the desired character.
To achieve preservation objectives, the following policies and regu-
lations should be enacted to guide development in Lower Downtown.
Demolition Review
A process should be established lor mandatory review of all requests
for demolition of existing historic or contributing buildings in Lower
Downtown. The process should draw a reasonable balance between pri-
vate property rights and the public interest in preserving the critical mass
of historic character in the district. It is the responsibility of the property
owner to demonstrate it is not feasible to renovate or reuse the build-
ing in question.
Demolition Review will function within a 90 day period, including
all non-judicial appeals, prior to issuance of a demolition permit. The
list of contributing buildings and composition of the demolition review
board will be determined in a collaborative process involving Lower
Downtown stakeholders.
Design Standards/Design Review
New development and redevelopment should meet minimum design
standards for compatibility with the historic character of the district.
The Preservation Planner of the Denver Planning Office will deter-
mine whether minimum standards have been met, prior to issuance
of a building permit.
Design consultation will be available to owners and their representa-
tives from the site planning and conceptual design stages in order to
avoid delays at the time of the decision.
To encourage architectural creativity within the context of the goals
for the district, a design review process should be established for
developers who have an idea for compatible design that does not con-
form to the minimum standards. Review would be conducted by a
committee of balanced interests, including design, construction, and
development. It may include members agreed to by the applicant in
addition to permanent members.
The decisions of the Design Review Committee can be appealed first
to the Landmark Commission, and then to the Board of Zoning
Adjustment. The same design review process would be available for
projects that are not approved for conformance with the minimum
design standards.
The minimum design standards should be consistent with the follow-
ing guidelines:
48


1870
If one event were to be singled out as having the most profound influence in
moving Denver from a struggling western settlement to become the gateway
to the Rockies, it must be the opening of the Denver Pacific Railroad, On that
day, Denver was tied to the rest of the nation, and became part of a transcon-
tinental system.
1880
Union Terminal emerges as the heart of the 19th century city.
DISTRICTS
Fenestration and Articulation. Maintain the rhythm and vertical
proportion established by the historic context and existing street fron-
tage. Windows must be punched {set in) at least one brick width. Sills
and lintels must be articulated through color, materials, ornamentation,
or other means. Each floor must be articulated. Street facades should
reflect the historical development pattern of the area, generally two to
eight lots. Ground level space in multi-lot developments should provide
multiple entrances on each street frontage.
Setbacks and Roof Lines. The upper 35 feet of a building over 110 feet,
must meet at least a 30 degree exposure plane. At the first two stories
the structure must be built to the property lines at sides adjacent to a
street to form a continuing street frontage. Buildings will be setback
between the second and sixth floors at a level equal to or slightly higher
than adjacent buildings. Building height may not exceed 150 feet without
design review, excluding the current provisions for HVAC equipment.
Exterior Materials. Materials must be in context with the color,
proportion, and scale of existing historic patterns, such as brick and
sandstone. Black, bronze, and reflective glass are not permitted as of
right.
Zoning and Parking
The current B-7 zoning premiums and bonuses should be fine-tuned to
promote more contextual development, within the current allowable
density.
Premiums
Reduce the premiums for enclosed plazas, unenclosed arcades,
enclosed arcades, and atriums to make the premium system consis-
tent with the building form traditionally found in Lower Downtown.
The setback premium, currently 3 square feet for every I square foot,
should be increased to 4:1.
Bonuses
To encourage redevelopment of contributing buildings, consider permit-
ting those built to 4.0 FAR or under to add or transfer up to 2 FAR with
design review. Existing buildings already built to 4.1 FAR or more may
add up to 1.0 FAR with Design Review. As final additions arc made on
this incentive, its impact on overall density and the development rights
market must be evaluated further.
For 36 months after new zoning is implemented, additional parking will
not be required for floor area added to existing or renovated buildings.
lurking Requirements
Tb encourage smaller scale new development, as part of the changes to
the eurrent zoning, on-site parking requirements should be modified,
and a mechanism should be created to fund and develop off-site park-
ing in Lower Downtown.
Contributing structures should continue to be exempt from parking
requirements. But as part of the changes to the current zoning, the fol-
lowing standards should be applied to infill development:
Developments of less than 5 lots: 1 space per 1000 square feet
required; 100% of the requirement may be met off-site.
Developments or 5 to 8 lots: one space per 1000 square feel required;
60% of the requirement may be met off-site. Waivers for more than
60% off-site can be provided through the design review process.
Developments of more than 8 lots: on-site parking requirement of one
space per 750 square feet. A waiver to provide any portion of the
requirement off-site must go through design review.
Residential uses may meet existing parking requirements or provide
a minimum of one space per unit.
URBAN DESIGN
Lower Downtown should not be a passageway for traffic headed for
or leaving the Financial District. Mitigate the impact of existing traffic
that does not originate nor terminate in Lower Downtown, and avoid
additional traffic pressure. Modify the interchange between express,
local, and shuttle buses to alleviate the bus traffic problems in the
district.
Preserve and redevelop Union Station as a major activity center and
heart of the district. Views of the Station should be preserved from
both Downtown and the river, and its surrounding spaces enhanced
as open space.
Extend the 16th Street Mall through the district. The character of the
Mall should help to distinguish Lower Downtown from the Retail and
Financial Districts.
Public and private land use on 16th Street and other numbered streets
in Lower Downtown should reflect the character of this lower scale
district, and should not be a continuation of the Retail and Financial
Districts.
Develop a strong pedestrian connection from Larimer Square to
Union Station.
49


DISTRICTS
Speer Boulevard should be consolidated west of Cherry Creek to
allow Crcckfront redevelopment. Both sides of the Creek should be
improved to enhance the use of the water amenity. Development along
the Creek should be consistent with the scale and character of Lower
Downtown, and should preserve views to the mountains. The exist-
ing urban fabric of Lower Downtown should extend to the edge of the
Creek. The other Creek edge should be more pastoral in character.
The touchdown points of the viaducts in Lower Downtown currently
intrude upon the district's name streets, cutting off vistas and access.
This condition should be remedied through removal and reconstruc-
tion, with new touchdown beyond Wynkoop Street.
The skybridge crossing 17th Street which blocks the view of Union
Station should be eliminated. New skybridge development should be
discouraged.
LARIMER STREET CONNECTION
IX)WER DOWNTOWN CHERRY CREEK FRONTAGE AT THE ORIGINAL CITY HALL SITE
50


1880
Denver has the ultimate status symbol a grand hotel. The Windsor became
a reason to come to Denver a beehive of social, economic, and political
activity. On the other side of Larimer Street was the Barclay Block where state
legislative sessions were held from 1885 -1893.
1881
"Almost overnight the train depot replaced the stage (coach) office as the
nucleus of the city (and) the surrounding area to greet passengers. When
Union Station was completed at 17th and Wynkoop Streets in 1881, 17th Street
(Lower Downtown) emerged as the major commercial and tourist thorough-
fare, lined with hotels, banks, shops, and saloons."
T. J. Noel: The City and the Saloon, 1982
DISTRICTS
51


DISTRICTS
FINANCIAL
DISTRICT
Wall Street
of the Rockies
RELATIONSHIP
TO THE
FRAMEWORK PLAN
The connection system links the
Mall and the Financial District on
IjCtrimer, Curtis, and California
Streets. These streets should be
enhanced, to serve as pedestrian
paths, bringing people from the
employment center of the core to
the activity center, the Mall.
/
V
*
f
/
CHARACTER SKETCH
The Financial District has been understood as the business and finan-
cial heart of the city and the Rocky Mountain region for most of this
century the Wall Street of the Rockies. It is the destination point for
most of the 114,000 people who work Downtown.
The Financial District is northeast of the 16th Street Mall and contains
Denvers tallest buildings. It is dense with intense vehicular and pedes-
trian activity at the street level. The core is I7th Street, lined with major
corporate and financial offices. Many of the new buildings are clad in
reflective materials, in contrast to the masonry detail of older structures
along the street.
FINANCIAL DISTRICT FROM BROADWAY AND 17TH STREET


1888
Henry C. Brown, a prominent Denver real estate developer, decided to build
a hotel on a triangle of land he owned. By 1892, both the Brown Palace and
Equitable Building were open on 17th Street.
1880
The completed Union Station transforms 17th Street from a dirt road to the
Will Street of the Rockies.
DISTRICTS
ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Beyond 17th Street the Financial District lacks distinct character as
well as discernablc boundaries. Development pressures have
produced high land costs in the district and caused growth to extend
across Broadway into the Uptown on the Hill neighborhood. Con-
tributing to the problems along the north and east edges of this area
are a preponderance of surface parking lots, creating inhospitable
street frontages and safety problems for the adjacent neighborhoods.
Firm edges to the district should be established at the alley
between Sherman and Ijncoln, 20th Street, Larimer, and at Col-
fax Avenue. To improve the transition between the district and
adjacent neighborhoods, development should begin to tier down
in height at these edges, and become less dense.
There is a lack of active street level uses which would tic together
activities within this district and relate it to other districts.
A system of cross paths should be developed to establish a pedes-
trian flow to the Mall and connect plazas and open spaces. Hotel,
retail, and entertainment activities need better visibility and
accessibility from plazas and streets. Nighttime connections to
the Mall should be enhanced.
Improvements to Broadway would permit easier pedestrian flow
across it to the east and could be accomplished with landscap-
ing, medians, and lighting.
Parking structures within the Financial District present blank walls
to pedestrians traveling the named streets. This contributes to the lack
of active street level uses and pedestrian quality connections which
would tie the district together and relate it to other districts.
Guidelines are needed for parking garages in the district to pro-
hibit parking entrances off 17th Street; to require active uses at
ground level to animate the street; and to include facade treat-
ment, landscaping, and lighting in the structure design.
* VA ^ mg &T9 /
URBAN DESIGN DIAGRAM:
FINANCIAL DISTRICT
53


In June 1985, local designers developed a plan to connect the Mall
to the D.CP.A. Arts Complex, recapturing the excitement of Cur-
tis Streets historic vitality.
DISTRICTS
SILVER
TRIANGLE
Sleeping
Giant
RELATIONSHIP TO
THE FRAMEWORK PLAN
When the Framework is overlaid on the Sil-
ver Triangle, it provides the organizing ele-
ments for development that are currently
lacking in this district. The 15th Street Tran-
sit Corridor and new Transit Mall (on
California or a similar street) become the
main axes of the district. They draw people
into the district and are amenities to which
development can attach.
Improvements to Civic Center Fork, Cherry
Creek and its adjacent DCPA Park will
enhance their influence on the surrounding
underutilized land. Redesigned connections
at the Colfax crossing to Civic Center and
on 13th Street bring the parks into the dis-
trict and create a corridor flouring between
the two. Cleveland Place, California, and
Curtis Street knit all those elements together
to prepare the Silver Triangle to develop as
a cohesive district. Curtis Street, a vital link
from the Mall to DCPA, becomes an excit-
ing and active place, terminating at the
improved DCPA Park. The Creek will
become part of the park, a waterfront
experience that will transform that now iso-
lated and dormant space into a real activity
center.
CHARACTER SKETCH
The Silver Triangle Ls located between Cherry Creek/Speer Boulevard and
the Retail District and is one block from the 16th Street Mall and is bounded
by Colfax. In spite of its location and good vehicular access, little develop-
ment has taken place in the last decade. The district has an underutilized,
low density character, in stark contrast to the imposing Financial District
across the Mall. Acres of parking lots exist, portraying a barren image in
the Silver Triangle, although it is the most centrally located area of major
developable land in Downtown.
Currigan Hall and the Denver Center Complex (DCRA) are located on the
northwestern edge of the Silver Triangle. These amenities draw hundreds
of thousands of people to major events, but remain isolated and disconnected
from the rest of the Downtown core. The district contains several scattered
historic and cultural facilities, along with a major open space amenity,
DCPA Park.
CURTIS STREET FROM TOE MALL TO TOE ARTS COMPLEX
54


1870
Denver's finest residential district was along tree-lined Fourteenth Street. Two-
story brick houses trimmed with iron grillwork extended as far as Bannock
and 13th at one time.
1900
Various horse, cable, and electric railway companies were alt consolidated into
the Denver City Tramway Company, located at 14th and Arapahoe, opening
160 route miles in Denver and the neighborhoods.
1920
The golden era of the motion picture brought a string of movie palaces to Cur-
tis Street, Theatre Row" was known as the best lighted street in the world.
DISTRICTS
ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The Silver Triangle lacks identify and a dear role as a center in Downtown.
A perceived barrier south of 16th Street, it isolates the district from the flow
of activity and development. As long as the Silver Triangle is undeveloped,
most of Downtown will be separated from Cherry Creek.
The Silver Triangle Is the area for the next expansion of the Financial
District. It should develop densely with the highest scale buildings on
15th Street, and a lower scale edge toward Speer Blvd. Developing at
high densities, however, means that early developments will come slowly^
given the large area of developable land and the expected market
demand. Improving the connection streets in the district will provide
a desirable environment to which early development can attach. As
development occurs, these attractive pathways will draw Downtowns
pedestrians through the Silver Triangle to take advantage of the parks
and Creek.
Another amenity, such as a central square, is needed to provide a focal
point for development and create a long-term identity for the district.
In the more distant future, when Downtown residential districts are
firmly established, that amenity may also attract penthouse housing for
the small market segment that is drawn to life in the midst of commer-
cial activity rather than in residential enclaves such as Lower
Downtown.
The 15th Street traasit corridor should be designed with entrances to
serve new development in the Silver Triangle.
Expand Downtowns public space management beyond the Mall to cre-
ate activity magnets in the Silver Triangle.
Interim uses for the district in the next several years should include back
office and services. Spin-off uses from Currigan Hall and the redevelop-
ment of DCPA should be encouraged. Institutions such as the Denver
Athletic Club, Emily Griffith Opportunity School and the Press Club
should be maintained in the district.
THE DCPA PARK AS AN AMENITY ALONG THE CURTIS STREET CONNECTION
55


DISTRICTS
56


The development of the rapid transit system in the 15th Street
Corridor paralleling the 16th Street Mall and intersecting the
California Street Mall provides the backbone for major new
development in the Silver Triangle.
DISTRICTS
CALIFORNIA STREET FROM SPEER BOULEVARD
CALIFORNIA STREET TRANSIT MALL
57



DISTRICTS
AURARIA
The
Academic
Village
RELATIONSHIP
TO THE
FRAMEWORK PLAN
To ensure a stronger physical rela-
tionship between the campus and
the rest of Dmmtmvn, pedestrian
connections on Larimer and Cur-
tis Streets should be improved. As
with the Silver Triangle, its Cherry
Creek frontage is underutilized.
Improvements to the campus open
space system are an integral part of
the development of Downtown's
connection system and its anchors
and landmarks.


CHARACTER SKETCH
The 170-acre Auraria Higher Education Center (AHEC) is west of
Speer Boulevard on the banks of Cherry Creek, bounded by 6th Street, *
Colfax Avenue, and Wazee Street. Most of the present campus is
sparsely developed, with surface parking lots, open space, and athletic
fields occupying approximately 60% of its total area. Campus buildings
are low scale and generally brick.
Auraria is a campus of more than 35,000 students and faculty in the
University of Colorado at Denver, Metropolitan State College, and
Community College of Denver. It is an important recreational, cultural,
and economic center in Downtown, and a potentially important link in
the future development of Downtown.
The campus contains several significant historic buildings, including the
9th Street Historic District Park, St. Elizabeths, Emmanucl-Shearith
and St. Cajetans Churches. The Tivoli Brewery building, through lease
arrangement, has also been restored and developed as a speciality retail
and entertainment complex.
AURARIA CAMPUS
58


1858
Auraria is established the oldest historic site in the city. The first log cabin
school hus located on the west side of 12th, between Larimer and Market.
I860
A mild rivalry existed between Denver City and Auraria. There were many
advantages to one combined town, and the citizens of Auraria voted 146 to 39
to become part of the combined Denver City.
1973
The oldest neighborhood in Denver bus cleared for urban renewal and replaced
by a higher education center which combines the downtown campuses of Den-
ver Communtiy College, Metropolitan State College, and the University of
Colorado at Denver, resurrecting the name Auraria, Latin for gold."
DISTRICTS
ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Auraria is isolated from the rest of Downtown by roadways, parking lots,
and Cherry Creek. Its low-density design also discourages pedestrian
linkages.
The Speer Boulevard viaduct should be consolidated to the south
to open up the Creek to both the campus and Lower Downtown.
Improvements to the Creek at that point can become a unifying ele-
ment between these districts. Access improvements should he
designed to integrate the campus with Lower Downtown, the Silver
Triangle, and the Retail District, and provide quality vehicular
access to Tivoli.
1edestrian access between the campus and Downtown should be
improved with active land uses along connections on Larimer Street
and Curtis Street from DCPA to 6th Street. Auraria should be
linked to future Platte Valley development along a 10th Street pedes-
trian way.
The East Classroom Building should be reused to connect AHIiC,
the Silver Triangle, and other Downtown districts. It should func-
tion as the gateway to the campus from Downtown.
Maintain and improve the recreation Helds with better edges, par-
ticularly along Speer. Develop this area into a major Downtown
park and recreational area.
DOWNTOWN CONNECTION TO AURARIA
AT CHERRY CREEK WATER AMENITY
URBAN DESIGN DIAGRAM: AURARIA
59


CENTRAL PUATtl VALLtT Arapahoe triangle
* t UPTOWN ON THE HILL
OOLDEN TRIANGLE
"... if every act of building, large or small, takes on the responsibility for
gradually shaping its small comer of the world, then the large patterns which
give so much structure to a city or neighborhood cart emerge."
Christopher Alexander
DISTRICTS
TRANSITION
ZONES
Immediately surrounding the Core Districts are a number of transition
zones deteriorated and underdeveloped areas which separate the core
from the surrounding neighborhoods. The current use of this land is a
conglomeration of parking lots, rail yards, and small industries. There
are also enclaves of residential and entertainment uses, but the general
impression is barren.
The effect of the neighborhoods and downtown being isolated from each
other is not only a physical barrier, but a psychological barrier which
translates into reduced activity, economic loss, and separation from the
distinct amenities of Downtown.
These areas can host higher density housing than is desirable in the
neighborhoods, and smaller scale business and office space than is
desirable in the core, addressing the needs of businesses that seek a cen-
tral location without the intensity of the core. An extension of the con-
nection system through the Transition Zones provides a distinctive
environment and identity to which development can attach.
60


DISTRICTS
GOLDEN
TRIANGLE
Civic
Center
Neighborhood
RELATIONSHIP
TO THE
FRAMEWORK PLAN
The connections in the Golden Tri-
angle are intended to stimulate pri-
vate development and specific land
uses. The connections begin at the
Mall, and reach through Civic
Center Park to the Greek Theatre.
Leaving the park, Acoma Street
becomes an enhanced path and
gateway to both Downtown and the
neighborhood to the south.
The historic Evans School is
located at the intersection of
Acoma and Ihh Avenue. This
important landmark is incorpo-
rated into a secondary connection
along Ihh Awnue, linking Capitol
Hill to the east, and La Alma-
Lincoln Park to the west, A spe-
cially designed JJth Avenue could
include a water amenity, running
from Acoma Street to Cherry
Creek. The presence of the Creek
should be accentuated at the inter-
secriott of 11th and Speer Boulewtd
as the connection continues into
the neighborhood to the west,
beyond Sunken Garden,
CHARACTER SKETCH
The Golden Triangle is I he district south and west of Civic Center. It is
bounded by major access streets into the Downtown core. Parking areas, car
dealerships, and automobile service facilities are perhaps the strongest
present use in the district. A few property owners control [he majority of
the district in large assemblages. As such, the area could change quickly.
The Golden Triangle is adjacent (o the most active parts of Downtown and
yet isolated by heavily (raveled streets and (he Civic Center.
The physical setting of the Golden Triangle provides an opportunity for
development of an exceptional residential character, and for office develop-
ment that can tap a market of tenants who want the advantage of centrality,
without the intensity of the Downtown core.
ACOMA STREET CONNECTION
LOOKING TOWARD CIVIC CENTER


DISTRICTS
ilTH AVENUE IXX>KING WEST FROM BROADWAY
11TH AVE. CONNECTION FROM THE EVANS SCHOOL TO CHERRY CREEK
62


1870
Ttee-lined Broadway was the drag-stri/f' of Denver.; and driving horse-drawn
carriages was the evening pleasure.
1920
Even though street car lines ran through the area, the Golden Triangle
remained largely undeveloped. Later this "out in the country" location proved
successful for business development.
DISTRICTS
ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The Golden Triangle lacks a unique identity and role, as well as a
physical and psychological connection to the rest of Downtown. The
district has hot capitalized upon its natural amenities.
A mix of land uses should be developed, including residential,
office, back office and small scale retail. The opportunity to
develop residential neighborhoods throughout the Golden Tri-
angle, and especially along Speer, should be taken advantage of
and reinforced. The Broadway/Lincoln corridor should be main-
tained as a distinctive rctail/entertainment/office area.
Civic Center should act as a frame or sphere of influence affect-
ing the character of new development. The scale of development
should be lower than the Silver Triangle, but greater than the
adjacent Baker and LaAlma-Lincoln Park neighborhoods.
Development should step down in height to the Creek: the Evans
School should be preserved and redeveloped as a focal point of
the Golden Triangle.
New internal amenities should be created, including pedestrian
connections to other districts and improved use of Cherry Creek.
Views of the Downtown skyline, mountains, and Civic Center
should be protected and promoted as amenities. If additional
power service is required as proposed along 13th Avenue, it
should be underground so as not to intrude upon the district.
The roads surrounding the Golden Triangle act as barriers between
it and the other districts.
Pedestrian and auto bridges across Cherry Creek should be
added at Cherokee and Delaware Streets and the Bannock Street
bridge should be rebuilt. Acoma Street should be closed to vehic-
ular traffic in the Golden Triangle and improved as a pedestrian
environment to link to the Civic Center connections back to the
core.
63


DISTRICTS
CENTRAL
PLATTE
VALLEY
Downtowns
Riverfront
CHARACTER SKETCH
The Central Platte Valley is located on the northern and western edges
of the Downtown core, adjacent to Lower Downtown and Auraria. It
contains Denvers extensive railroad yards and separates Downtown
from the South Platte River and the neighborhoods beyond. The Cen-
tral Platte Valley is the citys largest expanse of underdeveloped land,
and Downtowns riverfront. It has the potential to provide some of our
most enjoyable amenities and generate substantial tax revenues.
RELATIONSHIP
TO THE
FRAMEWORK PLAN
The extension of the 16th Street
Mall, through Lower Downtown to
the Central Platte Valley is a key
element in connecting the Willey to
Downtown. A large urban park
should be developed behind Union
Station, to strengthen Donntonv's
connection to the ivaterfront at the
Platte River. The open space would
be a recreational amenity to
both Downtown and adjacent
neighborhtxxis.
A pedestrian connection through
the mid-Vatley can be combined
with an open space amenity to
stimulate development in the Milley
and create a magnet to which that
development could attach. This
amenity should heighten the sense
of Denvers identity and recall its
history by reclaiming a powerful
image at the river.
CENTRAL PLATTE VALLEY:
LOOKING TOWARD DOWNTOWN FROM
THE SOUTH PLATTE RIVER


1858
The history of Denver starts at what today is Confluence Park, which com-
memorates the coming together of Cherry Creek, the South Platte River, and
the many different peoples who made Denver happen. A city soon arose where
tepees and Conestoga wagons had once stood.
1870's
The Railroad Connection to Cheyenne linked Denver to Eastern manufactur-
ing and Western expansion.
DISTRICTS
ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The approximately 600 acres of [he Central Platte Valley presently
generate little activity or tax revenue for the City. Existing land uses
are incompatible with both the neighborhood to the west anti Down-
town, causing the Valley hi act as a barrier.
1'he redevelopment of the Central Platte Valley should ensure
that it becomes an integrated part of Downtown and not an
attachment to it, and that the edges between the Valle)1 and its
adjacent neigh Iwr hoods arc compatible.
1'he character of the Valley should be urban, but not duplicate
the Downtown core. Subdistricts, their character, scale and uses,
should be defined in an urban renewal plan. Design review1
should be considered for all new construction. Approximately
4,tKKb5,000 units of housing should be guaranteed in the district,
clustered to form new neighborhoods.
Due to the magnitude of the infrastructure needs in the Valley,
its design will have a major impact on Dow ntown and Ixtwer
Downtown. The transportation system serving the Valley should
emphasize a pedestrian environment, and contain adequate
capacity and flexibility for the future. Strong pedestrian connec-
tions through the district arc necessary to link Downtown and
16TH STREET MALL TERMINUS AT THE SOUTH PLATTE RIVER
LOOKING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NEIGHBORHOODS.
65


It has become apparartt that urban waterfronts, whether natural or artifi-
cial, are now prime pieces of teal estate, essential ingredients in forming a com-
munity image, valuable stages for architectural display and great places for
public recreation."
Grady Clay
DISTRICTS
adjacent neighborhoods. The consolidation and redesign of the
railroad corridors is especially important in the elimination of
existing barriers.
The Vhlley does not take advantage of the Platte riverfront, nor does
it capitalize upon unique opportunities to serve the areas adjacent to
it. The present character of the area does not explain or reinforce the
origins of the city at the confluence of the Platte River and Cherry
Creek.
A comprehensive system of open spaces should be developed in
the Central Platte Wlcy, including new and upgraded space, and
especially a large open space to serve Downtown, the neighbor-
hoods to the west, and all of central Denver. Development of the
district should make maximum use of its water amenities, and
capitalize upon the adjacent location of the sports complex.
Historic structures and buildings should be preserved to rein-
force and explain Denvers beginnings.
CENTRAL PLATTE VALLEY MID VALLEY AMENITY
66


1887
From bull-boat to fiber glass canoe, the South Platte has fioated various kinds
of craft, but none more amazing than the side-wheel paddler. The owners of
the ship dammed the river at 19th Street and the water backed up to 15th
Street. On this lake, the side-wheel paddler puffed.
1970
Joe Shoemaker's Denver Greenway project began the conversion of Denver's
waterways and gulches into a network of parks connected by paved recreational
paths.
DISTRICTS
67



DISTRICTS
ARAPAHOE
TRIANGLE
Original
Streetcar
Suburb
RELATIONSHIP
TO THE
FRAMEWORK PLAN
The Arapahoe Triangle is a transi-
tion wne between Downtown and
adjacent neighborhoods. The con-
nections proposed on Larimer,
Curtis, and California Streets,
extend from the Mall through the
Arapahoe Triangle, to the Curtis
Park neighborhood. Twenty-second
Street is also an important connec-
tion to link the Arapahoe Triangle
to the Central Platte Valley,
and to the Uptown on the Hill
neighborhood.

CHARACTER SKETCH
The Arapahoe Triangle is located northeast of Lower Downtown and (he
Financial District, from 20th to 23td Streets, and the rail yards to Welton
Street. The triangle from which it takes its name is northeast of 23rd
Street, and is formed by the intersection of Broadway and Blake Streets.
The district includes part of the historic warehouse area of Denver, scat-
tered retail and commercial uses, and a scries of neighborhood edges
consisting of older single family homes. The district has fallen into
decline in recent years, losing businesses and housing.
The Arapahoe Triangle contains numerous art and design studios, and
has the potential to become a special arts district. Portions of the area
could also become strong Downtown neighborhoods.
The area between Larimer Street and the rail yards is one of the Citys
most intact historic districts
ARAPAHOE TRIANGLE
68


im
The Arapahoe Triangle was the location of Denver's Chinatown. With the
building of the transcontinental railroad, thousands of Chinese were employed
as laborers.
Many of Denver's pioneer Black families chose this location because it was
close to the railroad passenger yards where many worked os Pullman porters
and dining car cooks and waiters.
In the 1910X the area was proposed as an historic district and still awaits
imaginative developers and preservationists.
DISTRICTS
ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
There has been considerable land speculation in the Arapahoe Triangle,
due to its location next to Downtown and its zoning. The district is primar-
ily zoned for industrial use (B-8,1-1, and 1-2). It is no longer suitable for
industrial uses because of access, the size of parcels, and existing struc-
tures. There is a high vacancy rate in this area.
The existing zoning should be revised to support a mixed-use zone.
In the area north of Lower Downtown, a land-use mix of artist and
design studios, housing, and commercial uses, should be encouraged.
Among the areas that will support residential uses, high-rise hous-
ing should be concentrated on the west side of Broadway. Housing
development in the Upper Larimer area and surrounding the Cle-
ments Historic District should be compatible with historic scale and
character.
Industrial buildings should be reused and reinforced by infill develop-
ment which is compatible in height and massing. Improvement and
renovation of existing buildings and contextual infill development of
the Larimer Street face blocks from 20th to 23rd Streets, and the
historic character of the street should he reinforced. It should serve
the area as a neighborhood commercial center,
The Arapahoe Triangle is the location of shelters and social service
centers, local bars, and pawn shops. Further concentration of shelters in
this area would hinder redevelopment efforts.
Discourage further concentration of incompatible land uses, including
shelter facilities, which inhibit redevelopment efforts and new invest-
ments. Support programs such as Denver CA.R.E.S.
The area is affected by traffic passing through to Downtown.
Entrances to Downtown should be developed and the street widened
at 20th and 23rd Streets, 23 rd Street from Broadway to the southeast
should be improved to reinforce its parkway designation. Preserve the
Clock Tower Building at Broadway and establish it as a Downtown
gateway.
CURTIS STREET CONNECTION
LOOKING TOWARD DOWNTOWN
URBAN DESIGN DIAGRAM: ARAPAHOE TRIANGLE
69


DISTRICTS
UPTOWN
ON THE HILL
Mansions
on the Bluff
RELATIONSHIP
TO THE
FRAMEWORK PLAN
The primary pedestrian link to
Downtown is 16th Avenue between
Downtown and the City Park
Esplanade. An additional link on
Pennsylvania Street joins the dis-
trict to Capitol Hill and the Arapa-
hoe Triangle. Colfax is the retail
and shopping area both for
Uptown and the neighborhoods to
the south.
CHARACTER SKETCH
Contiguous to the Financial District on the west and the Uptown neigh-
borhood to the east, the inner Uptown area is a transition zone between
Downtown and the lower density neighborhood. While the Uptown on
the Hill neighborhood is strongly residential, the inner area, from Sher-
man to Emerson Streets, has been heavily affected by the expected
expansion of Downtown into this area. The residential character has
been broken. Surface parking lots arc common. A scattering of 10-to-20
story office buildings have been developed at the Downtown edge.
The southern edge of the district is formed by Colfax Avenue, known
for high traffic and continuous commercial frontage. The pedestrian and
residential character of 16th Avenue have been strengthened recently
with its conversion to a two-way bicycle route street. Residents are plan-
ning a strong connection between the 16th Street Mall and City Park.
A row of new attractive restaurants is developing along 17th Avenue,
drawing Downtown employees, and residents of Capitol Hill, Uptown
and other neighborhoods. Many relatively small buildings and older
houses have been converted to offices, preserving these historic struc-
tures but changing the character of the neighborhood. Uptown on the
Hill is thus growing into an urban village, with a renewed emphasis on
housing in a mixed-use neighborhood. Residents arc working to stabi-
lize the remaining residential area by rebuilding the transition area that
has been under development pressure at its Downtown edge.
70


1874
Construction of the Broadway streetcar line resulted in the development of a
new Denver neighborhood. Henry C Brown plotted the east side of Broadway
between 20th and 10th Avenues to the alley between Grant and Logan Streets.
Brown straightened the diagonal street pattern of the central business district
into an east-west, north-south checkboard grid. After streetcars climbed the
hill, Brown's once remote bluff became the elite addition to Denver.
DISTRICTS
i____ _ __
ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Downtown development is encroaching and destabilizing the Uptown
neighborhood. Housing stock is being converted to office uses, or
demolished for parking. Requirements for appropriate scale of
development and uses are needed to create a sensible transition
between Uptown on the Hill and Downtown.
Uptowns existing R-4 zoning should be revised to correct exist-
ing incentives which encourage demolition and assemblage and
allow parking as a use by right. Firm edges for intense develop-
ment of the Financial District should be established at the Lin-
coln/Sherman alley, and at 20th Avenue.
Sherman Street should be reinforced as a special street with State
office buildings and supporting uses, deep building setbacks,
extensive landscaping, pedestrian improvements emphasis on the
view of the Capitol, and creation of a focal point at the north end
of the street. Building heights should decrease moving south
from 191h Avenue, and east from Lincoln/Sherman.
17th Avenue should remain eastbound to support restaurant activi-
ties. 16th Avenue should be reinforced with residential use and pedes-
trian amenities.
URBAN DESIGN DIAGRAM: UPTOWN
71


CIVIC DEVELOPMENT
STRATEGY
This Downttwn Area Plan outlines a framework and principles for how the city should develop in the coming Fifteen
to twenty years. That vision will be realized as various public agencies, developers, investors, and corporate and
community leaders use the Plan to guide their individual decisions.
The Civic Development Strategy outlines an approach to begin that realization. It describes the actions that are
needed to bring the Plan to life and the roles of the various stakeholders in that process.
KEY PRINCIPLES
Several principles guide the implementation of die Plan,
The implementation of the Plan must be a public and private co-venture. In the past, government led the way
in channeling money and establishing policies which created (he special amenities that we typically associate with
great cities. The political and economic climate in the late 1980s and probably into the I990s, precludes the City
from taking the same kind of role that municipalities previously assumed.
The Plan assumes an expanded role and responsibility by Denver's private sector Without major Financial support
from the State or federal government, actions creating new policies, establishing priorities, defining the programs,
and financing mechanisms will require the direct involvement of property owners and businesses in order to be
successful. The development of the 16th Street Mall and the creation and funding of this Plan are two examples
of how Denver has been able to combine the resources of both sectors, as well as Denvers philanthropic
community.
Communicating the ideas contained in the Plan will require a concerted effort and take many different forms.
Slide shows, exhibits on the Mali, written reports, newspaper and TV coverage, and presentations to neighbor-
hood associations, school children, and Downtown workers, will all be necessary in the coming months. A sum-
marized version of the Plan will help assure wider public involvement.
Ultimately, it is the belief in the Plan by individual Denver residents, Downtown employees and business peo-
ple, that will move us to action and change.
Certain recommendations contained in the Plan need to be implemented within the next two years. Acting on
these early action policies and projects will demonstrate the intentions of the Plan and will rally support for action
on the other, longer-term priorities.
A coalition of civic institutions, businesses, neighborhoods, educational groups, professional organizations, and
government agencies will be necessary in order to realize the policy changes and projects recommended. This
broad-based advocacy wilt raise the political support needed to expend capita) funds and change existing land
use policies.
IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS
Implementation of the Plan will involve four kinds of actions. All Steering Committee members and their consti-
tuent groups will be involved in each phase, but leadership will vary.
CITY COUNCIL APPROVAL
The Steering Committee will present the Downtown Area Plan to City Council for its approval and incorporation
into the Comprehensive Plan. The City will lead this effort, with support from all the interests represented in the
Steering Committee.
PUBLIC COMMUNICATION
Promoting public understanding of the Plan will require a digestible written summary of the Plan for the public-
at-large, and promotional materials to increase public involvement and understanding. The Denver Partnership will
lead in producing these materials, they will be used by all the Committee members and their constituent groups
as each does presentations or mailings to the community.
LONG-TERM PROJECTS
Many major elements of the Plan will not be built immediately, Large-scale public improvements and private
development of areas like the transition zones take years to complete. In the interim, actions that are taken should
not preclude the general direction outlined in the plan.
72


7b dream soaring dreams is not enough. 7b have value, dreams and ideas
must be translated into the hard reality ofjeaslble proposals."
John Simonds
For some projects, such as development or the airport, this entails continuing the long process of predevelopment
work. For other, newer proposals it will mean proceeding with more detailed planning and design work, and receiv-
ing public input. In these latter situations, each refinement of the vision is a step toward building it incorporating
it into the communitys expectations of what will happen at specific sites in Downtown. As these iterations take
on greater clarity, property owners can plan their developments around the public or private investments they antic-
ipate in the area.
All Downtowns stakeholders will be involved in long-term efforts to implement the Plan: incorporating the con-
nection system into the neighborhood plans and the Comprehensive Plan; designing specific connections, water-
front improvements, the 15th Street Transit Corridor and galleria, and the Denver Common.
EARLY PRIORITY POLICIES AND PROJECTS
Projects on the early action agenda will require intensive implementation effort.
The recommendations which merit early attention (within the next five years) have these characteristics:
The proposed action could be adopted, constructed or otherwise have an impact within three to five years;
The selected policy or project would trigger other actions sooner, particularly without additional public finan-
cial support.
The action would establish a new standard or serve as a model for solving similar needs in other Downtown
districts.
Financing sources for the particular recommendations are likely to be available from several organizations, includ-
ing local, state, federal agencies, and private contributions, or through special districts.
The action would have high public visibility to build support for the total Plan.
The list on the following page (in no order of priority) is recommended for action within the coming five years.
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POLICY /PROJECT RESPONSIBILITY BENEFITS
1. Economic Strategy City leadership of public/private effort Assure that Downtown remains a healthy economic and employment center.
2. Adopt regional transit plan including Downtown component RTD, City, The Denver Partner- ship, neighborhoods, and Auraria Move the region and Downtown toward more effective mass transit. Assure Downtown has quality access and is reinforced as the center of the region.
3. Bottlenecks Speer/Colfax 6th/Speer/Lincoln 8th/Bannock/Speer 19th/20th City, State Improve roadway access and gate- ways to Downtown.
4. Retail development Develop anchor stores City, The Denver Partnership, and private developers New anchor stores will improve the draw to existing retail.
* Develop entertainment retail in Lower Downtown and at DCPA Galleria The Denver Partnership Assures that retail can fulfil] its potential as a major base for Downtown, and as a job/revenue producer.
5. Centralized Retail Management The Denver Partnership Retail district will act as a state-of- the-art shopping area with com- mon store hours and promotions.
6. Lower Downtown Preservation Policy Package - Zoning Demolition Review - Design Standards and Review City, property owners, preserva- tion community, neighborhoods Preserve the fabric of the dis- trict and direct compatible new development.
Marketing, management and economic development package - Economic generator - Revolving Loan Fund - Business Support Coordinator - Funding district The Denver Partnership, City, and State Stimulate market demand and development in Lower Downtown that reinforces its historic character.
Urban Design capital improvements - Streetscape - Creekfront - Mall extension City, The Denver Partnership * Create definable visual identity for Lower Downtown, a stimulus and setting for redevelopment.
Pooled parking City, The Denver Partnership Create a mechanism tor encourag- ing small scale development in Lower Downtown,
74




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POL1C Y/PROJECT RESPONSIBILITY BENEFITS
7. Housing development The Denver Partnership, City, private developers Enhance Downtowns residential base, and create a bridge through the transition zones to the neigh- borhoods.
8. Redevelop City site at 14th and Larimer City, private developers Reclaim this site as an amenity to all of Downtown, and capitalize on the Creek as an amenity.
9. Central Platte Valley Infrastructure Viaducts Open space system Auto & pedestrian circulation City, property owners, railroads Turn the Valley into a bridge between Downtown and neighbor- hoods and capitalize upon the Platte River as an amenity.
10. Civic Center design and public space management improvements City, State, The Denver Partnership Magnifiy existing activities and uses, strengthen the district as an urban centerpiece.
- Provide Downtown with an effec- tive large public gathering space.
11. Connections Curtis Street (Mall to DC PA) City, The Denver Partnership Link Downtowns cultural center to the Mall, multiplying Down- towns activities.
Cleveland Place and Colfax crossing Connect Civic Center Park to the Mall and Silver Triangle.
Larimer Street Connect Auraria and the Creek to the Retail District.
12. Parking management The Denver Partnership, City Ensure that Downtowns 38,000 parking spaces are easy to find and use, and that off-street parking serves the short-term market.
13. Complete Phase 1 DCPA redevelopment 3000 seat theatre renovate Auditorium complete the Galleria City Enhance and ensure better use of the Arts Complex. Expand the potential range of cultural offerings that can be accommodated.
14. Zoning revisions B7 Lower Downtown B8 Golden lYiangle, Arapahoe 'lYiangle B5 R4 Uptown on the Hill Central Platte Valley City, property owners Balance and ensure appropriate development in the core, transition zones, and neighborhoods, which are compatible and reinforce each other.
15. Develop Convention Center City, private sector Increase sales tax base and Down- town activity by expanding the use of Downtown by visitors.
l(x Market Downtown The Denver Partnership Expand the market for Downtown development and City's tax base.
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The final test of an economic system is not the tons of iron, the
tanks of oil, or the miles of textiles it produces: The final test lies in
its ultimate products the sort of men and women it nurtures and
the order and the beauty and sanity of their communities.
Lewis Mumford
ROLE OF THE STEERING COMMITTEE
In addition to the responsibilities of individual Steering Committee members and constituents in implementing the
Plan, there will be a continuing role for the Committee as a whole. It will meet quarterly during the first year of
Plan implementation to provide a forum for reports by members on the progress of public communication, advocacy,
and specific projects and policy development. Meetings will also provide an opportunity for members to alert each
other to other proposals that will affect the Plan.
Beyond the first year, the Committee will meet two to three times per year to report on each interest groups actions
and to monitor the progress of the Plan. Annually the Committee may issue a progress report on implementation
of the Downtown Area Plan, to preserve the agenda in the community's consciousness.
CONCLUSION
Implementing the Downtown Area Plan will require ongoing commitment by all who care about our Downtown
area. But this process is not unfamiliar. At the turn of the century under Mayor Speer, Denver made decisions that
gave us many of our civic assets today. More recently, the 16th Street Mall went some twenty years from concep-
tion to construction, not without controversy. A bold stroke, it met a major regional transportation need, vastly
upgraded Downtown retail, and had the added effect of changing that street into the major gathering place we enjoy
in Downtown, It forever changed not just the image of Downtown, but the way we use it and feel about it.
Today, wc are at a critical and challenging point in Downtowns development as the urban center for the city, the
metropolitan area, and the region. At similar times in their histories, many other cities have made bold plans that
altered their futures. But they produced memorable changes still enjoyed today, and examples of what planning
and persistance can do.
Boston landfilled an unattractive swamp, and created the Back Bay, now the site of some of its most desirable
housing.
The direction of the Chicago River was reversed to convert swamps to rich agricultural land, enhancing the eco-
nomic role of Chicago.
Tulsa dammed the Arkansas River and created a one hundred acre lake and surrounding park.
Vancouver reclaimed False Creek and Granville Island, converting an industrial dumping ground to housing,
parks, and an active waterfront market.
This Plan presents a vision for Downtown Denver's next round of challenges in city building. It begins a community
dialogue about the nature of those challenges and the actions we should lake to meet them. It is not the end of a
process, but the beginning.
76


DOWNTOWN AREA PLAN SPONSORS
AETNA Life & Casually Foundation
AT&T Communications
Anschutz Corporation
The Anschutz Family Foundation
Atlantic Richfield Company
Boettcher Foundation
Burlington Northern Foundation
Franklin Burns Foundation
Central Bank of Denver
Citicorp, USA
City and County of Denver
Colorado Cuisine
Colorado National Bank of Denver
Davis Graham & Stubbs
The Denver Foundation
The Denver Partnership, Inc.
Denver Civic Ventures, Inc.
Downtown Denver, Inc.
The Denver Post
First Interstate Bank of Denver
Harmes C. Fishback Foundation Trust
Forest Oil Corporation
Frederick Ross Company
The Frost Foundation
Gibson Dunn & Crutcher
Hamilton Oil Corporation
The Heitler Fund
Gerald D. Hines Interests
Holme Roberts & Owen
Hunt Alternatives Fund
Inter-Regional Financial Group Foundation
King Soopers, Inc.
Mountain Bell Foundation
National Institute for Dispute Resolution
National Trust for Historic Preservation
Oxford Properties, Inc.
Peat Marwick Mitchell & Co.
Philip Morris Foundation
The Piton Foundation
Public Service Company of Colorado
Sun Exploration & Production Company
Trizec Properties, Inc.
Touche Ross & Co.
United Bank of Denver, N.A.
United Bank of Skyline, N.A.
Urban Mass TYansit Administration
Weckbaugh Foundation, Inc
PLAN PRODUCTION
PLAN GRAPHICS
Robert Kam
Paul Sehnert
Jacquie Anderson
Sara Jane Seward
Anthony Chan
Gary Zchnpfennig
RENDERING
Ken Berendt
Robert Karn
Paul Sehnert
COMPUTER IMAGES
Gcnigraphics Corporation
Skidmore Owings & Merrill
(Computer Base Maps)
PHOTOGRAPHY
Jacquie Anderson
Tfessa Dalton
Robert Karn
Sara Jane Seward
Jerry Downs
Landis Aerial Photography
Oxford Properties, Inc
The Rouse Company
State Historical Society
Western History Museum
PUBLICATION
Layout: Robert Karn, Jacquie Anderson,
Brian Ehlers Design
Printing: Sprint Litho & Label
Color Separation: Capitol Engraving Company
Typesetting: Campro


Full Text

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DOWN10WN AREA PLAN STEERING COMMITTEE AURARJ A Hl GHER EDUCATION CF..NTJI.R Lawrence E. H amihon Board of Directors CITY A N D COUNTY OF DENVER Richard T Castro. Director Cununisston on Community Relations Davis, Jr. (Xrwcr City Council, DiStrict 118 Thomas A. Gougeon Assistant to the Mayor William Lamont. J r." Director or Planning :md Development Cathy Reynolds Denver City Council. Memberat Lal'j;c Wtlliam R. Roberts Denver City Council, District #11 M L. "Sam" Sand\>s Denver City Counctl, Dismct ffJ W.m'Cn M. Thhz. Vice Chair i)(:nvcr Planning Board THE DENV E R PARTNE R S IJIP, INC. George B Beardsley Prcsid()nt. Ccntr.!l Development Group, Inc. Richurd C D. Fleming CEO The Denver Pnrtncrship.lnc. Edmundo A. Gonzales Director, Denver Manngemcnt Council Mounttun Bell Bruce W Hulbert* Executive Vice Prcsidem Western Capital Investments Corpormioo Gail H Klapper !'Jnner, Klapper & Zinuncmtatl Neil G. Macey Prcstdem, Denver Equities John J;. Moyc l'mtncr, Mnye Giles O'Keefe Vcrrncirc & Gorrell TASK FORCE MEMBERS M Anderson A. Gordon Appell Charles R. Bahhnan Donald E Barker David A. Baskell Richan:l D Bauman 8rdd A Benson Sheila S Bisen ius Michael D. Bisenius D. Kenneth Bleakly Mary Ann Blish James Bowen Colleen Boyle John A "Jack" Bruce Cathy Butler William Carley David S Chcmo Shirley G. Craighead John Cntisc Jean Dcmmler Donald L. Elliot Ruth Falkenberg Jennifer Fmch Mary flnn P.lizabeth A Fisher Kathy Fraztcr Alan G. Gass L:lrry W Gibson Tiish Gilpatrick John L Gray Linda Knmpton Amain M Hanke David C James E Hnrpool Marvin H atami Donald E Hunt SuSIIn Hilb Lane Iuelson Michael Jack Toomas L Jenkins Aeron John Rilll C. Kahn Jim Kntsel Lee W. Keller Johann.1 Elizabeth Kelly Judhha A. l.aluda DOWNTOWN DENVER RESrDENTS ORGANIZATr ON Peter J Adolph President IJISJ'ORJ C PRESERVATION COMMUNITY A Purdy Citiscape. Ltd l N TE.RNEI G lffiORHOOD COOPERATIO N ( E l eanor Jefferson Vice President of the .Boan:l LOWER DOWNTOWN PROPERTY OWN ASSOCIATION Morton "Mickey" 7.cppelin & Company TilE NEIGHBORHOOD PARTNERSHIP l)nvid J C ole. Chuir REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION OlSTRlCT William B. R ourke Chair of the Bonrd S l i\TE OF COLOJ tADO E Robcn Turncr-Ellccutivc DircctOt. Department of Administration MEMBERS-AT LARGE James T Busby Neighborhood Leader Thomas 1 ;,rmcr Mayor of Denver Williitm H Hornby Senior Editor Denver H U:rla lopez Neighborhood Leader Donald R Seawell of the Board DCPA Executive Members Curl H John W Madden Donnn Mcf.ncmc Rick McNeal 0 Mend Anne L. Mills Gloria Mills Malcohn M Mumy Diane G Nagel Dorothy A. Nepa Jerome M Nery David NctZ Elmer Officer Carl Anthony Ortiz Robert G H Pahl Barbam H Pahl Terry Pahl Jeanne Peterson Christine E Pfaft' Judith F. Pictlock John R Pung Julian K. Quaulebaum,IJJ John R Querard Thomas K. Rag land Andy Roberts M ary J. R obens Clark A Robertson J oanne Salzman Willian1 S. Saslow Mark C. Schaefer R obert C. Schaevitz Raymon d E. SUlckhous Carolyn M Steele Jacqu eline G Steele Eugene D. Sternberg Kathy S tewart Clark J. Strickland Jacquel i n e V oss John L. 'Mitson \V'illiam R obert Whanon Gerry Wilson Julie Ann Woods Larry E. Wright Roben W Yeager

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Do,rvntown Area Plan A Plat For the Future of Downtown Denver Spring l9o6 A join. venture of 1 he Denver Partnership, Inc. Denver Planning Office, City and County of Denver C o pyright 1986

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TO THE C ITIZENS OF DENVER May 15, 1986 II is our pleasure to present to you the Downtown Area Plan for Den ver. This document represents the product of n early two years of 'M>rk by the twenty-eight member Steering Committee appointed by Mayor Pc1in in July of 1984. The Mayor charged the Committee with developing u clear and excit 1ng plan for the future of Downtown Denver. The Plan was to serve as a benchmark ror the of public and private decisions that affect the form and function of Denver's Downtown. Our Conunittee \\.'Orked hard and enthusiastically to respond t o the challenge embodied in that charge. With the assistance of a broad spec tnrm of the community. we have developed a vision for DowntoWn Den vcr. The pages that follow represent our best effon to define w hat Downtown Denver can and should be in the future. We hope that this Plan docs more than simply present a shining image of the future. We have attempted to highlight the values strongly held by this community. and to base the Plan solidly upon them. We have tried to communicate in a simple fushion the imponance of many o f the existing clements in Downtown and to identify the priority projcciS to accomplish the Plan. The Downtown described in this Plan will not emerge overnight. bUI it i s uch1cvuble. This Plan is rooted in the pragmatism of economic and engineering nnaJysis. At the some time. it recognizes the vital need for l)owntown Denver to be a place that is human, livable, and fun. The hcnn of any great city depends upon these qualit1cs. Enormous efron has gon e into the preparation of this document. The ultimate product of this effort. however, is not a document but a vision nnd a belief in our collective ability to plan and develop a vibrant and functional core for our City. The true test of this plan will come with tune. Even if every specific recommendation is not implemented. 11 is important that the public adopt this vision as its own. By doing so. each of us can ensure that the Plan lives on. long after this document hos been forgouen. the ideas will remain. As the Downtown area continues to grow and develop, this Plan should as 1 useful guide. If each of us continues to believe that it "important that it happen and that it be done right," then we will leave the next fCnerution of Denver citizens that much closer to the achieve ment of tte Plan's ultimate goals. Our sinccre thanks to all o f those who have dedicated their talent, ( this effon. \L_ a_ Moye Thomas A. Gougeon Co-Chair Co-Chair Downtown Area Plan Steering Commil!ee

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TABLE OF CONTENTS THE BEGINNINGS .. ....... ....... ................ i PREFACE ..... :. . .. .. .. .. . .. .. .. .. .. ... . 1 THE CONTEXT 2 HOW THIS PLAN WAS DEVELOPED ........ 2 THE SETTING ....................................... 4 CURRENT CONDmONS AND TRENDS .. .. S THE P LAN THE CONSTITUTION 16 THE FRAMEWORK 18 SPINE .... ............................................... 18 ANCHORS ............. ................... ........... 18 WATERWAYS .......... .......................... ..... 18 CONNECfiONS .. ........................... ....... .. 18 THE "YARDSTICK ................................... 22 OPEN SPACE IN THE FRAMEWORK ...... .. 24 HOUSING IN THE FRAMEWORK ............. 28 ACCESS 30 DOWN10WN ROADWAY SYSTEM ............. 31 REGIONAL RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM .. .... 33 PARKING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM .. ... ..... 37 DISTRICTS 38 RETAIL ....... .......... ... ... ....... ... .. .. .. 39 CMC CENTER .......... .. ........... ..... .. .. ... 44 WWER OOWNT<>WN .................... .. .. .... 46 FINANCIAL ...... . .. .. ... . ....... ........ ....... 52 SILVER TRIANGLE .. .. ...................... ...... 54 AURARIA HIGHER EDUCATION CENTER .58 GOLDEN TRIANGLE ...... .. .. .. .. ...... ...... 61 CENTRAL PLATTE VALLEY ........ .......... .. 64 ARAPAHOE TRIANGLE ............. .. .. ..... ... 68 UP10WN ON THE HILL ...... .. .................. '70 CMC DEVEWPMENT STRATEGY 72 PRINCIPLES .......................................... 72 IMPLEMENTATION PROCESS .. .. .. ..... ..... 72 ROLE OF THE COMMITTEE .. .................. 76 CONCLUSION .................. ........... ... .. .. .. 76

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THE BEGINNINGS Events That Have Created Downtown Denver 1858 DowniOWPI founded as Denvt!r City where Cherry Creek enren the Soulh Plane River, a staging ana for the PiMs hLIIc Gold Rush. 1870 D o wntown Denver busin es smen raiu $300/XX) w build a branchline to COMea the 5,()00-popu/ation tmm with the first transcontinental milroad at Cheyenne. 1893 The nalionD1 silvu crash ends the jim min ing boom, but by now the city has 100,()00-plus petJpk atld is an established regional center. 1900 ln J9()() Denver becomes the regional repository for fodeml funds, corQinning Dolmlotm:S role as the regional financial center. 1902 1he City and County of Denver is esro.blishM by the state legislature as a home-rule city with Mayor Robert Spur shortly to begin pushing the "City &autifol" mtmJnenl. 1.905 Cheesman &servoir becoma the fint mqjor mountain lm'ler s tomge for Denvt!r. 1906 The fint automobile is licensed in Detwer, and in the next the fint trolley reacl18s Little to n beginning the "s uburban 1tf011611ml 1908 The Denvt!r Auditorium. largest municipal meeting facility west of Madison Square Garden, is dedicated and shortly hosts the Donocmtic NaJional Convenlion. 1911-12 The D&:F 10wer goes up the 20th Strut V'uuluct links Downtmm to De1rver, Union StaJion is rebuilt, and somewhere someone mokes Denver:S first l011g-distance phone call. 1914-17 Kbrld Wu I srimulales .DowrttOim commerce whik refonn influences bring in Prohibition and the closing of Marlc41 Streets "cribs." 1923 Civic Center is completed Denver has 250/XX) people, 30/)(X) can, afow thousand new Hispanic c itizens who came to help in war-effort juming, and its first radio station. 1928 A dmmtmm theatre shows the first sound film. 1929 Slopleton Airport is tkdieaJed. 1930 1he "LiJtle Capitol" campaign is started to aJtmct fedeml workers and regional head quarten to De11ver. From 2000 employees aJ the start of the depression the number readies J61J()() by the end of Kbrld Hbr II 1935 Ftdeml Depression progmms improve Denver pcilities, includillg &d Rocks and mountain paries. Fint Slope water to Denver in the next year. l937 7ranscontinental air service to Denver begins, as does planning for WUIW lbrk, the first large mounlain ski area. 193945 Hbrld Rizr II brings to Denvu an OtrJinance Plant which by .1943 employs 20/)(X) peopk, half of them women. When America enten the war, Denver becomes host to floods of servicemen who fonn the base of postwar expansion. 1950 Slote auJO registmtion is 564/)()()the la.st street car is l(JUn out of strvice. Denvt!r has 415,786 people; the suburbs an additional 150,000. (1hjrty yean later. Denver has grown to 491,396, with the suburbs /laving an additionall,l20/)(X)). 1952 Dwight Eisenhower opens his presidential campaign heodquarren at the Brown ltJiace. Denver has its first ulevisio11 broadcast. 1956 lntentate Highway Act signed with major intenection in Denver area. 1960 Denver Urban Rl!newal Authority begins planning for Skyline Project. At this point Denvt!r has six buildings higher than 320 feet; ten yean later there are 18,. and the building crane is the state bird. 1964 Roberts 11mnel for t mns mountain water diversion completed, as is Currigan Hall Convention Center. 1965 lArimer Square historic restomtion begins and historic preservolion movement spreads. 1969 Bond issue for Aun:uia Higher &lucation Center passes and the next year for Denvt!r purchase of the bus system. The Rl!gional 'IransportaJion District is formed in 973. 1971 New Art Museum buill. Pkwling begins for tile Deliver Center for the hrforming Arts. 1974 Stale legislature passes Poundstone Amend mellt prohibiting Delivers further g/"'KKtiJ by Q11116Qtion. 1976 Aumria Hightr Education Ctnur and Colomdo Heritage Center are dedicated. 1982 16th Street MaU dedieaJed.

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PREFACE A VISION FOR THE FUTURE A city c hanges because of dreams. Dreams give shape to plans, plans to actions, actions to results. We live our lives among the results, so we'd best s hare in the dreaming. Our children and grandchlklren must liVe there, too, particularly among those physical results that dictate the ter of their city. The question is, will they live among quality results? Will they live among those that grow from dreams and plans that many have shared through mutual thought and work. Or will they live among the results of accident and indifference, not much better than life among the ruins. Go back in memory one lifetime, say 80 years. In the early century. Denver made the transition from small city to large with a population of about 200,000, almost all of it within the city boundaries. In this more simple time, the dreaming and planning of a few beaded by Mayor Robert Speer resulted in Civic Center and the Denver park and parkway system feeding into the central city. These plans became the general guides to development throughout the next decades. The attractive basic features of Denver's urban character of today were laid out by the forethought of yesterday. Go back half a lifetime, 40 years, to the great changes facing Denver after War n, with its population now 400,000 plus, almost half of that outside the city in the mushrooming suburbs. The suburbs and the Downtown skyline exploded together; the quaint old D&F Tower was fast displaced as Downtown's only skyscraper Again there was some furethought given to Downtown's character as a whole, and some to its Iinbge with the boom ing submbs. But the Speed of the changes meant that Denver bad to grow by leaps and bounds. Vcuious milestone projects went their several ways, in a rather marvelous chaos. That the majo r results such as the Denver Utban Renewal Skyline Project, the 16th Street Mall, the Denver Center Complex (referred to here as the DCPA), the Auraria campus, and larimer Square fell into relative harmony owes much to good fortune and much to the frame. work laid by foresight years ago. Now we must apply similar as trustees for the lifetimes ahead. In the 21st century, how will it feel to be in Downtown Denver when the population served will be in the millions, with two-thiros or mo.re in the suburbs? What do you seA!? What are the changes? What is gone, what remains? Such were the questions of tiUs Plan's Steering Committee as they began to shape a vision of D enver s future. Every year, both business and government spend millions of dollars in Downtown building and remodeling private developments, changing roadways, improving open spaces. The Plan provides a context to guide that investment, allowing us to identify opportunities, and to design projects that lalce advantage of planned future development. The vision becomes the guideline that allows individual actions to be of collective benefit for I>enver, that allows the parts to fall into place. PBD BY 11iE Sl'EER.ING COMMmBE AT ITS FlRSI' IN IULY,l984.

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THE CONTEXT HOW TinS PLAN WAS DEVELOPED THE COMMITTEE In July 1984, Mayor Pella appointed a 28-member Steering Committee to spearhead this effort. The Com mittee was to produce a long-term plan for the economic and physical development of Downtown Denver The process was to ensure that the public and pr ivate sectors co llaborate. The Downtown Area Plan Steering Committee included representat ives and key decision makers from neighborhoods, the prese!Vcltioo cooununity, private business, and gcwemment. They represented points c::i view and interests, not numbers of people. The Committee was staffed by a collaborative team from the City of Denver 's Planning Office and The Denver Partnership, Inc., representing the private business community, Throughout the process, Steering Committee representatives involved and infonned the members of their interest groups, and represented those interests in the decisions of the Committee. In addition to this outreach to consti tuent groups, the Committee sought input from the community-at-large. The public was regularly informed of the Plan through the news media, and citizens who i .nquired -more than 800 in all received agendas of all Com mittee meetings and summaries of results. This collaboration brought together a diversity of viewpoints from all who have a stake in Downtown's future. DECISION PROCESS The Committee's goal was a plan that addresses the interests of all its diverse members, recognizing that it is these public and private stakeholders with direct interest in Downtown who will build the vision. All decisions regard ing both the conte nt of the Plan and th e process of developing i t were made by consensus, rather than voting. So the needs represented by each individual Co mmitt ee member had to be resolved in order to reach agreement The Committee worked in partnership w ith staff, identifying Downtown 's problems and the possible solutions. The Committee also benefitted from consultants in many fields for data and advice

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PROJECf STAFF Pro ject Co-Directo rs Eileen M. Byrne Will Flei.ssig Planning and Design Managers RobertKam Debra A Kaufmann Sara Jane Sc:waro David Williams Gary Zehnpfennig Assistant Design Managers Paul D Sehnert Jacquie Anderson Plann lng Specia l ists Douglas J. Goedert Kent Gonzales Stephen D. Gordon Mary Roberts Karle Seydel Liz Spencer Dennis B. Swain Bronwen J Thrner Design Assistants William Ali Anthony Chan Dong Hoon Lee Dana Miller Alex Pitkin Roger A. Thttle Vietor Yang Adrninbtratil't Staff cathy Brooks Vic toria Craig Keith Jac.lc:son Barllara A. Sykes The Denver Partne!$hip.Inc. Denver Planning Office The Denver Partnel$bip. Inc. Denver Planning Office The Denver Partnel$hip Inc. Denver Planning Office The Denver Partnership, Inc. Denver Planning Off-,oe The Denver Partnership, Inc. Denver Planning Office The Denver Partnership, Inc. Denver Planning Office Denver Planning Office The Denver Partnership, Inc. The Denver Partnership, Inc. Denver Planning Office Denver Planning Office The Denver Partnership, Inc. Denver Planning Office The Denver Partnership, Inc. The Denver Partnership. Inc. The Denver Partnership, Inc. The Denver Partnership, Inc. The Denver Partnership. Inc. The Denver Partnership, Inc. The Denver Partnership, Inc. The Denver Partnership, Inc. The Denver Partnership, Inc. PROJECf CONSULTANTS David Straus Interaction Assooiale-' Barker Rinker Seacat & Partners Donald Barker, Vice President Kenneth Berendt, Associate Bernard Frieden MIT School of Design Blayney-Dyett. Urban Planner$ Michael Dyett Brophy & Associates, Inc. John Brophy President JulieSgani Carol Lewis Deputy Mayor c:A Sealtle Center for Business and Economic Forecasting, Inc. Wilson D. Kcodall, Olief Economist Center for Public/Private Sector <:oope..tion John Parr, Director The Conservation Foundation ChriJ; Duerlcson EdmuJlCI N Bacon Mondev International, Ltd. Citiseapc, Ltd. Lisa Purdy CRS Sirrine, lnc Thomas S t one. Principal Wtlliam Byrne Ronald Thorstad Felsburg Holt & Ullevig Arnold Ullevig, Principal Stephen Holt, Principal First Interstate Bank c:A Denver Lucy Creighton Chief Economist Frederick Ross Compeny Rick Pcdc:lSOn Jane Brazes Robert Yeager Garfield Schwartz AssociateS.lnc. Oail Garf.eld Sch-.wrtz, Kitt McCord Associates Kill McCord I.aventhol & Horwath Kenneth Bleakley, Manager Miriam Evans, Associate McGlaughlin Water Engincers,Ltd. Ron McOiaugblin, Managing Principal WiUiam 'IIIggart, Principal Mary Blish, Associate Project for Public Spaces Don Miles, Principal Quality Counts Norma Emond, President Sherry Albertson Clark: Historic Preservation/Planner Thomas J. Noel, Associate Professor c:A If !Story Director of Colorado Studies CU-DenYCr Wi. ll.iam H. Hornby Seruor Editor. The Denver POst

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'l4 dty /.s grtat if Its people are concerned with malcing It great!' -l!dm:und Bacon The Steering Committee first examined what Denver is today, its strengths and weaknesses and envisioned what Downtown Denver can and should be in the year 2000 and beyond. From this work, the Committee developed as overall goals a Downtown Deover that is: economicaUy healthy; the social aod cultural center of the region; beautiful and full of people and activity; and a good neighbor to the City's other neighborhoods. The Committee concluded that Downtown already has many of the ingredients needed to achieve these goals. But it identified five critical needs: ctea.tiog a vital retail center in Downtown; developing people connections between Downtown's activity centers, and between Downtown and the neighborhoods; improving access to Downtown; enhancing distinct districts i n Downtown, and providing housing in Downtown. The Committee met intensively over 18 months, doing much of its initial work in sub-groups open to all interested members. The Executive Committee designed and managed the Committee's process, guidod and reviewed the S1aff work, aod prepared the Committee meetings. The Framework Committee developed plans for Downtown's dis tricts and the first cut at the overall principles and outline of the Plan and connections. The Al:x:ess Thsk R>roe deve loped specific proposals for transit and roadway access to Downtown. The J.n.ver Downtown Thsk Foree developed the plan for that district. More than 200 citizens joined Steering Committee members in this Thsk Force. Six work groups focused o n specific issues, enabling the group t o mediat e the conflict9 between historic preservation and economic growth in Lower Downrown, and to produce specific regulatory and development actions to implement that plan. The recommendations of each of the sub-group s were considered by the full Steering Committee for inclusion in the Plan. The preliminary results were then presented for public comment in more than 52 meetings in the Fall of 1985. The Denver City Council, the Denver Planning B oard, the general public, and the news media were included in these meetings. The Steering Co!Il.tJl.ittee considered the various responses received in those meetings and refined its recommendations in response to them. The Downtown Area Plan is the result of that process 3

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4 Early in the 19th Century, Denver'S hinterland was considerd "The Great American Desert." described as "almost whoUy urlfit for cultivation unin habitable by people depending on agriculture the scarcity of wood and water (is) an insuperable obstacle in the way of settling the country." -From the Long Expedition Report THE SETTING Denver is the largest urban center in the Mountain West. It is a city of 500,000 people within a metropolitan area of more than 1.7 million. Half of the people who live in Colorado live within easy commuting distance of Downtown Denver. Downtown Denver is located at the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek at an elevation of 5280 feet a mile high, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains Easily accessible from Denver, the mountains provide a $pectacular and visible setting for the city. Within a two-hour drive of Downtown are several of the world's finest ski areas. These areas and the scenery attract 4.5 million people dur ing the winter months and another 15.5 million throughout the summer months for hiking, camping, fishing, touring, and sightseeing. Denver's climate is a major attribute. The sun shines more than 300 days a year, making outdoor activi ties and people-watching enjoyable year round. The dry climate makes the presence of water even more special and is, in fact, the reason for Denver'S loca tion at the confluence of the Creek and the River. Denver is also a major transportation hub and the central staging area for the mountain states. Located close to the geographic center of the country it is a stop-over and destination point for rail, bus auto, truck and air lines. Stapleton International Airport is the sixth busiest in the world with more than 1,250 flights arriving and departing daily. Two federal highways, I -25 and 1.:'70 intersect at the edge of Downtown, bringing travelers from north, south, east and west. Th e rail lines which established Den ver's prominence still function today, bringing goods and passengers to Union Station. LOCATION MAP FRONT RANGE CITY OF DENVER ]

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Downtown's amenities (red) and waterways are iso l ated from each other. The dense downtown core is separated from the neighbor hoods by underdeve l oped transition zones (orange) which ring the core. This has the effect of cutting otT downtown from its surround ing neighborhoods. 5

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6 DOWN10WN: CURRE N T CONDITIONS AND TRENDS The lifestyle we enjoy in D e nver revolves around our extraordinary natural sett ing, social and cultura l amenities, and the economy based on Denver's role as the financial business and distribution heart of the Rocky Mountain region. Downtown Denver is the heart of one of the nat i on's importa n t metropolises, one expected to rake on increasing importance with growth in coming years. I n that role. we are a center for services and corporate dccisiorunaking: one of the ten largest office markets in the nation, though the metropolitan area is 25t h largest in population. Downtown is the largest single employment center in this metro market, with an attractive environment for the many business functions where face-to-face contact remains imporrant, and with access to the broadest range of labor. But it's much more than the area's largest office park. Because Denver has alw&ys maintained a strong Downtown, 300.000 people live in and around Downtown. Our urban center provides the higher density living and activity necessary to support the cultural facilities. festivals. restaurants. and entertainment that more pastoral residents also enjoy. The Denver metropolitan mc.1 has gone through the transition in the last 15 years from a mid-size to a major business market a11d population cente r In our new status, growth will now occur more slowly. On today's larger base. we will not see the dramatic percentage increase s i n populatio n and employment opportunities that were possible as a smaller city. But, with care and foresight rhe Denver area should still experience steady growth at lower rates, due to the adV'dll tages of our climate and setti ng. our overall quality of life and the critical mass of our business base.

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NEED FOR AN E CONOMIC STRATEG Y ':41 midtll Century, San Francisco and Denver emerged in til e wilderness ... instan t cities ... Mugic seemed to account far tlleir rise, b uill Wfts tile 11/scovery of gol d tllot touched off t h e urban explo!iions. -Gtmtfter Bartl!, In stant Cities, 1975 That g rowth cannot be take n for gmmed. however. D e nver s h ould imm edia t e l y devel o p an overall s trategy t o s timulat e new eco nomic g owth in this rl>gi o n with a p a rti cula r focu s o n th e core c it y Such a stmtegy will cump l c mcntlhi s P l a n It s houl d idcmity the action needed beyond this Plan. to olidify the economic acuvity now concentmted in Downtown including gcwcmmcnt. communications. the design industry, and medical well n!> the finance and service sect ors But the strmegy s h ould go further It s h ould fill the gap that cxi t s in the various municipal and suh-an:::t plllm. in o u r reginn focusing on the deve lopment of regi onal aod statewide resources that can trigger the emergence of new indu s tries in Denver n n d expanded demand t b r the serv i ces o f o ur pre.,cm business base. These are the resources thnt will gener ate the jobs our chil d r e n will hold. Other regions have found tho:.c rcsoun.:cs in their education systems. medical facilities, transportation n etwork!., and wntcrfronts. A c oordin a ted regionnl ctlort i s need e d to idc nlif y the assets th a t ca n s h n pc D enve r 's l'C O nmnic futur e, a nd to l a y out th e s trategy for tra ns l a ting t hose llSSCis intu j o b s. I n the Downtown area. \\C must as1>urc that many of these jobs arc tnrgcrcd fhr inner-<:ity residents. DcvciOI>ing that growth st.rategy is an immediate challe nge. Equally is the need for a framework that assures that our growth oct ur at the of the very chamcrcrbtics of our e nvironm ent that created it. This complex taslo.. will require stale and regional action. Downtown Area Plan is an importunt c l e ment Creating a stro n g cent er city -one that is a desirable workplace. h ome site, and entertai nment center -con produce some counterbalance 1 0 urban sprawl. all our growth is to be absorbed at a cost of losin g the open space, wildlife, and visu1s Co l omdouns c h erish. we n ee d a core cit y tlltl'active that a substantiallllunbe r of the region's people want t o live. work. and play t here, rather thnn at the ever-moving fringe. The Downtown Area Plan describes a compre h ensive package of improvements t o make Downtown and i t s sur rounding neighborhoods a place all Denver can enjoy, and to enabl e it to attract a balanced share of metropolitan growth in office, retail rc'idcntial, and hospitality development. The Plan is grounded in t he ana l ysiS of Downtown's economic and physica l development and trends Those conditions arc described below, in t erms of the for users of Downtown. for the health of a cit y can be mcasun.'tl by how well it is used. 7

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8 O FFICE MARKET Downtown's 22 million square feet of office space is its largest land use and the base of its economy. Eigh t y-eight percent of the 114,000-person Downtown workforce consists of office workers (72.% in multi-tenant space). These employees are the largest singl e market for the other major economic sectors of Downtown: retail, hou sing. hospitality, and entertainment. The market for office s pac e in Downtown and the metro area bas been dominated by over-supply in recent years, as a result of a doubling of the total supply between 1979 and 1983. While demand did not escalate as sharply, it has been consistently healthy. With slightly more than I million square feet absorbed in Downtown in 1985, and 3 million marketwide, Denver is in the top ten cities nationally in office absorption. The Denver office market is dive.rsified. Downtown is an important center for the enefiD' industry and should remain so, though we're not likely to see major expansion in that area soon. But we don't share the dependence on oil and gas that some of our southwestern neighbors do. Employment in three other sectors heavily concentrated in Downtown is projected to expand substantially in Denver in the next 10 years: finance, insurance, and real estate (60% projected growth); services (50%); and transportation, cOilUllUnications, and utilities (44%). That base, and the leveling of rents in Downtown and the southeast suburban corridor, will benefit Downtown in the increasingly competitive office market. Current trends suggest that Downtown may have a smaller, though still significant share of the metro office market over the next 15 years. In a moderate growth scenario, Downtown will absorb an average of 850,000 square feet per year. The implications of that scenario for the development of the Downtown area are notable. Office occupancy will grow to nearly 30 million square feet in 2000, and the workforce'will expand to 165,000. Yet at that rate it will take 55 years to build out all the undeveloped land in the core. Only by increasing our market share (by tapping new markets for Downtown, for example), can we also redevelop the blighted areas that divide Downtown from the surrounding neighborhoods without extending that timeline. DENVER METR O MARKET GROWTH MULTI-TENANT OmCE S PACE

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1985 DOWNTOWN EMPWYMENT BY INDUSTRY TYPE (ll4,000 EMPWYEES=lOO% ) In this more competitive e n vironment, Downtown must offer a more attractive, competitive p r oduct. ln addition to seeking new growth, that means b uilding on our assets: maintaining supe rior access to Downtown by auto and mass t ransit, as the hub of the region; building on the density and compactness of Downtown a particul ar c h allenge when the supply of developable land exceeds short-term growth expectatio n s; and enhancing Downtown 's dist i nctive atmosphere: its street life, retail, entertainment, and historic roots. The character and feeling of Downtown are m ore importan t features in the office market than is commonly recognized. Downtown De n ver's activity, street life, and shopping emerge as important site attractions Downtown bus inesses offer their employees. Thus, office m ar k et strength is close l y related t o the success o f the other major economic sectors in Downtown : retail, hou s ing, hospitality, and entertai nment. DOWNTOWN DENVER (CBD) GROWfH MULTI-TENANT OFFICE SPACE DENVER, 1911 9

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10 RETAIL MARKET R etail is the social foundation of Downtown. the magnet for the city's role as a social marketplace. l n addition to being an important revenue generator for the City, it acts as a key amenity for all other development in Downtown. It is the site attraction that ran.k.s first among employees as an inducement to work Downtown. With nearly 2 million square feet of retail space Downtown is the largest shoppmg complex in the Rocky Moun tain region. Its offerings cover all of the three major types of retail. often overlapping: Co mp ariso n s h opping. The regional shopping mall is the best known model for this type of retail. It shoppers from a broad market (20-30 minute radius) because it carries a full range of merchandise organized to give shoppers confidence they can find everything they need in one location. Department stores are the symbOl and the traditional anchors of comparison shopping centers. Downtown's comparison s hopping center i s the Retail District along t he Mall, from May D&F to the Thbor-Writer-l.arimer Square complex. E ntertainm e n t retail. While entertainment has become an important function of all retail today (especially comparison shopping). the entertainment retail sector is a distinCt type exemplified in Denver by Tivoli. I t does not attempt t o provide a fuU range of merchandise, but rather focuses on amusements, food. and specialty retail, often organized around a theme. Large-scale entertainment retail draws cul>tomers from a regional market. but for a more limited purpose than comparison shopping : to eat, bring visitors. visit a unique shop. or to see "what' s new. A number of opporrunities exist to develop new entertainment retail in Downtown, such as in Lower Down town and at the DCPA GaUeria. Neighborh ood se rvic e retai l provides the goods and services people expect to lin d convenient to their homes, for which they typically travel very short distances. I t i ncludes groceries. convenience stores, dry cleaners, s hoe repair, and the like. Service retail is located throughout the Downtown area, ro serve a population lor whom con veniencc is frequentl y defined as l ocated n ear the office, rather than home. It is somewhat more concentrated near Lower Downtown, however, where office and residential uses converge. Metropolitan Denver is a strong and expanding retail market. With an averc1gc household income of nearly $33,000. it ranks 12th nationally in retail sales per capita. With metropolitan employment p rojected to grow at twice the national rate in the ten years, retail demand should continue to be strong The market includes 13 major regional malls within the inner four-wunty area, often with overlapping trade areas. As a result, few suburban malls perform at exceptional sales levels in this $4 billion pe r year market. Current proposals for six new regional malls, including four in the southeast corridor, suggest this trend may continue in the suburbs. D enver's share of that market has declined steadily a source of concern to the City, whic h relies on sa l es for n early 50% of its General Fund revenue. Downtown's share has also declined with i ncreasing s uburban com petition for comparison shopping. But since the completion of the 16th Street Mall, Downtown's retail deterioration has been reversed. Sales have stabilized; 250,000 square feet of lost space has been replaced (although not with anchor stores to compensate for the loss of Penney's and Joseph Magnin). Today Downtown has proven its potential as a shoppin g destination, not just an office service center By various surveys. 20% or more of metro-area households shop Downtown during a 30-day period, and n.vo-thirds of Denver households shopped at Thbor Cen ter more than once in its first year of operation.

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Despite those figures.the City now loses $500 million per year in comparison and entertainment sales, through leakage from the current Downtown retail base -overwhelmingly to suburban shopping centers. That leakage sug gests that shoppers arc coming Downtown but using it as an entertainment center rather than a regional mall -shopping at o n e or more of Downtown's specialty centers, but not using the Mall as a whole. To halt that leakage, these obstacles will have t o be overcome to help the Retail District function more effectively: the need for additional retail anchor stor es. panicu larly at the southeast end of the the broken continuity of retail frontage along the Mall from May D&F to Tabor; the disorganization of short-term parking adjacent to the Mall; and the lack of common store hours and retail promotions. Downtown has an immediate opportunity to attract h igh-end department stores. Several are now considering entering the Denver market where the high-end is the only segment of the market that is underbuilt. But as opportunities develop, sec1,1ring a mass-merchandising department store as well will help ftll out the diversity of Downtown retail offerings. 16th STREET MALL, 1980's 16th STREET, 1920's u

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16th M1> CURTIS, 1920' s 12 VISITOR/ENTERTAINMENT MARKET The v isitor and entertainment market includes touristS, conventioneers, and local residents using Downtown as an entertainment center. A strong visitor market provides a steady stream of users for Downtown. This enables the city to offur a wider variety of restaurants, retail, entertainment, and culrural facilities than local residents could support alone. It also produces an instant environment o f activity that enhances Downtown's desirability as a place to live, work, and play. And, it brings new, outside revenue to the C1ty in sales and lodgers taX. Colorado is o ne of the top visitor destinations in the country The mountains are the primary attraction -even more so in summer than in winter J'hree.fourths of the State's 20 m1llion visitors each year arrive during the wanner months. In total, these travelers bring S5 billion into the Colorad o economy each year. Downtown Denver has many of the ingredients needed t o be a strong visitor attraction. including more than 4.000 hotel rooms and an international hub airport that serves Tl airlines. It is unique in its concentration of cultural facil ities, which is the largest in the nation for a city of this size. Downtown continues to be the heart of cultural activity in the region, with the Art Museum, Denver Center theatres, Denver Symphony Orchestra. the Library Heritage Center, Western Art Museum, and a distinguished collection of smaller theatre groups, art galleries, and clubs But maintaining that concentration will require public commitment. At the same time. the rerum of first-run movie theatres at TIVoli, the reopening of the Paramount, and the expansion of Downtown festivals have broadened the range of entertainment available in Downtown. Downtown also has the most compact concentration of restaurantS and entertainment in the metrO area. With so many resources compressed in a small area, we have the potential t o create a self-reinforcing system o f visitor attrac tions. That critical mass encourages multi-use visits dinner and the theatre. a museum and shopping on the Mall that draw more people and increase the way they use Downtown. Downtown in the 1980's i s not tapping the full potential of its visitor market. Denver lags far behind comparable cities in the number of convention delegates we attract. Atlanta and Dallas draw three times as many. Even Seat tle and Minneapolis, without the adwntage of hub air service, serve 100,000 delegates more than Denver each year. The convention industry is hampered by the size and quality of our convention facilities. and delays, crowding. and inconveniences at Stapleton International Airport. For m ountain bound tourists passing through Stapleton or 1-'70, there is no identifiable magnet in Denver, and n o psychological connectio n between the city and the mountains. Finally, Downtown has not yet capitalized on the compactness of our anractions. As the city struggles under the burden of supponing the cultura l facilities enjoyed by the enure region, we are missing much of the spin -off sales and activit y those fac:i.lities should generate in Downtown. Despite the compactness of Downtown, many of our visitor attractions and culrural facilities appear distant from ead1 other because they're separated by relaovely barren streets which tend t o exaggerate the separation. So, today, one facility doel'n't benefit from the use of another and the spending impact of many visitors goes no further than the parking l ot they use to come and go from one attraction alone. Improving visitor and entertainment business in Downtown can produce some of the qutck est results in creating the Downtown environment we see.k. I t requires a program of: connecting, marketing. and managing our e ntertainment auractions as a package, and creating a tourist link between Downtown and the mountains: replacing or redeveloping Currigan Hall Convention Center with a larger, more effective facility i n Downtown that can anracl more events, especially larger out-of-state meetings that generate a higher proportion of overnight stays; replacing Stapleton International Airport with a larger. more efficient airport, functionally and physically linked t o Downtown, which can meet the demands of an expanding air hub and serve the needs of the Denver traveling public

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HOUSING MARKEr Of the four major user markets in Downtown, the m arket for housing is the most difficult to tap. T his market has absorbed severe blows over the years and strategic effort will be required to rebuild it to the point that it can be a significan t s egment of the metropolitan market. I n general, the metropolitan housing market has been robu st over the last decade as the population of the region expanded rapidly. Currently however, the market is s uffering from an oversupply in both single-and multi-family produ ction, due to a rapid increase in the housing stock since 1980, reccm reductions in the area's rate of growth, and slower demand since our once-low housing costs have caught up with much of the nation. The 3,200 housing units in Downtown arc one percent of the total market. '11le D enver Urban Renewal Authority has taken the lead in building the Downtown ht)using market, with approximately 1640 units developed as part of the Skyline Urban Renewal project, The earliest efforts produced 683 units of high quality, well-planned low-income housing. The 957 luxury units primarily condom iniums-have had more c.lil'liculty. Slow market acceptance undermined investor confidence in Downtown housing. Absorption has i n creased dramatically in recent years That success suggests there is, in fact, a market for Downtown housing, and the process has provided a labora tory for examining the obstacles to tnpping it. Competition. With so many desirable close-in neighborhoods Denver residents have a wide variety of aumc tivc housing choices within 5 to 10 minutes of Downtown. Downtown housing will have to offer a very distinc tive product to compete in that environment. Limited range of housing types. Land costs and the cost and difficulty of assembling large parcels encourage development of upper-income high-rise housing to the exclusion of other types. That narrow sej,>ment of the market is quickly saturated; focusing o n it severely limits the amount of housing that can be absorbed in Downtown. Lack of identity as a residential place Despite its approximately 6,500 residents. the Downtown area docs not feel t o outsiders like a place that people live. R>r many years it has lacked neighborhood infrastructure-schools, c hurches active parks, grocery stores and, perhaps most of all, the feeling of neighbors. The Golden lTiangle Arapahoc Triangle and Inner Uptown on the Hill, once vital neighborhooc.ls adjacent to the core, have been reduced to a sea of parking lots and fragmented low-density uses These vnnsition areas and !he Cenrral Plane Valley have become a wall between the residential character of the remaining neighborhoods, and the commercial character of Downtown. Recent housing projects have not overcome this obstacle; they have been designed as independent entities, without the context of a neighborhood. Without that context, the lack of residential identity is an undercurrent in mar keting Downtown housing. The need for vitality in Downtown amenities. Until recently, Downtown's rctlil entertainment, and open space didn't constitute a strong market anraction for Downtown living. The 16th Street Mall has begun to change that situation. Thbor Center and Tivoli have improved the environment further; the tum around in Downtown housing absorption occurred with a rapid nurry of l easing after Tabor's opening. Despite these improvements, Down town's amenities are not yet generating their full power as magnets for Downtown residents. As with the visi tor market, Downtown housing will benefit from better connections among our activity centers and coordinated management of our open space, cultural, and entertainment facilities. CORE H OUSING 13

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A VISION : DOWN'IOWN OF THE FUTURE 14

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THE PLAN "There are, certainly, ample reasons for redoing downtown -falling retail sales, tnx bases in jeopardy, stagnant real estate mlues, impossible rraffic and parking conditions, failing mass transit, encirclement by s lums But with no intent to minimize these serio u s matters, it is more to the point to consider ... w hat makes a city cent e r magn e tic, what can inject gaiety, the wonder, the c heerful hurty-burly that make people want to come into the c it y and t o linger there. For magnetism i s the c rux of the problem .... 70 creat e /11 it (Downtown) an atmosphere of urbanity tmd exuberance is n o t a /rii'Oious aim!' -Jane Jacobs CONSTITUTION FRAMEWORK ACCESS DISTRICfS DOWNTOWN 1986 The Downtown Area Plan is a framework for stra tegic actions that will make Downtown work as a co h esive system, shape its future develop ment, and Weave it into the res t of the City. h builds on existing assetS, both natural and cultural, nnd organi7.cs them t o work together. The Plan is divided into four THE C O NST I TUT I ON defines o ur values for Downtown the values that should guide our public and private decisions about Downtown development over time. THE F RAMEWORK is the skeleton around which develop ment will evolve over time -the stntc tur c which link s the various individual i nvestments into a mutually reinforcing system. THE ACCESS P LAN provides fbr the transporuuion needs of the next generation of development in Downtown and the region, in a form that reinforces the physical framework. THE DISTRICf P LANS define the special i ss ues and n eeds within each Downtown district to build or enhance their db tinctive T h e combinatiQn o f'th esc f o m e l e m e nl.o; for m for t h e u rbnn cor e n pla n for s teady, effective g rowtb th a t i s p edictable a nd o n Downtown 's strengths 1 5

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CONSTITUTION nconomc..111y hP;tiU,y focus urban core acii'W'l pf:.op!(> plrtcc llvtnq ctly outdoor city tlllracttve strer_ots IHdcstrl.ln IIQht. ht'\lorlc prt!'\'''";)fton Llil"olrl forwnrrJ llllflklnJ CONSTITUTION The Cmt,titutio n th e \ll lu es inherent i n t h e Plan \\ h ich arc intended to guide growth and d c \clnpmenl in the Dmmtown area. The c ombination of thes e ,aJucs f o rm s the foundation for makin g deci s ion<, c on s i s tent with the O \ C rall Plan The C omtitutiun dCioCrihes the parameter!. for an) about a major chan ge in Dmmto\\n' s ph) s ical form. 16 HEALTHY ECONOi\IIC CENTER D owntow n will be a lu:allh) economi c and employment center. whn.:h cncoumges the locauon ur corpomtc hcadquarten.. nc" and anchor retail \tore' FOCt:SED li'RBAN CORE It "ill be a rocused urhan con:. that build1. on and n:inrorccs its and compactnesl!. to be the !>oeiaL cultuml. and urban center or the region. AC.IIVE Al\TENITIES D owntown will be an cxc.:iting place all day l ong. with H<:tivc s t reet l ife. comprehensive. cul r ural amenities. and u,cful. hcautiful open A PLACE PEOPLE LIVE I n order for the cit) to hve. people \Hll hve in the cit). We "ill develop and nurture in 00\vntO\\ n.

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CONSTITUTION GOOD 10 NEIG HBORHOOD S Downrown will be a good neighbor to it<; surround ing neighborhoods and an enhancement to in-town living. OUTDOOR C ITY Downtown Denver will be an outdoor city. W e will take advantage of a n d pro t ect our n at ural views of t he mountains our water resources. and our year roun d outdoor climate. EASY TO It will be easy to get to and around in Downtown. using streets and public transit that arc anmctivc. understandable, and func tional. and arc designed to enhance the pedestrian I i fe of the city. "1711! first !ilt!p in adequatt planning is to makt a fresh camms of human ideaLv and human purposes.'' -Lewis Mumford HIST'ORI C PAST We will protect and our hbtoric past and preserve it for future gcncrdtions. C L E A N S AF E : R E DUCE POLLUTIO N Downtown will be dean and sale, a n d committed to improving air quality. FORW ARD Downtown Denver will be lbrwurd thinking. In the decisions we make today we will prepare for the next gcnerution of urban amenities, that land and other resource:. will be ava i lab l e to develop those amenities w h e n they arc needed. 17

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KEY PLAN FRAMEWORK The Framework Plan presents the skeleton elements of a cohesive Downtown. It provides a logical system for development in the central core. Cities use their physical assets. t heir natural and culmral amenities to organize their inheren t complexity. A harbor. a large urban park, a special shopping dist r ict, a historic area. a cathedral, distinctive office towers these are elements which people remember. This is where THE SPINE The 16th Street Mall is the central organizing element, the spine within the system. It is the key reference point for anyone in the Downtown area and a magnet for people and activity. All Downtown development and infrastmcture is defined by its relationship to the Mall. 18 they take bearings, where they return again and again. The specific arrangement of these clements. the links among them, and the character of their landmarks distinguish one city from another. In Downtown Denver. Civic Center Park flanked by the State Capitol and the City and County Building. Cherry Creek with its walJ...Wd)'S and parkways, the South Platte River, Union Station, Larimer Square, the 16th Street Mall, the D&F Tower, the Denver Art Museum, and the ANCHORS Public buildings and parks traditionally anchor city streets, acting as the destination points along a path. Two of Downtown's landmarks function as anchors to the Mall: Union Station in historic Lower Downtown, and Civic Center Park, Downtown's largest urban open space and the center for government.

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FRAMEWORK H eritage Center arc but a few of these landmarks of distinction. Downtown's Framework is built on four key elements: the spine. anchors. waterways. and connections. The Framework organizes these elementS into a comprehensive urban pattern so that people and activities flow easily from one point to another throughout Downtown. It is this flO\V which creates animated THE WATERWAYS Denver's original framework was detennined by the conflu ence of the Platte River and Cherry Creek at the foot of the R ocky Mountains. Though these waterways are the reason for Denver's location, they have lost much of their influence on development around them. T hese poten tially powerful assets arc surrounded by underutilized land and are all but invisible from Downtown. This plan retUrns the power of the waterways by making them an integral and unforgettable part of Downtown. There are many national and oorld examples of the benefits to cities of enhancing their water resources. In Denver this potential is particularly acute. 'Water is a distinctive charac teristic of Denver, like the mountains and the color of o ur sky. It is the clement of relief in our arid atmosphere-as the greenery of Centra l Park is in the canyons of Manhattan. By recapturi n g our water amcni" I have perceived cities as great works of art, as exciting and adventurous dramas and theater events, which possess that ultimate creativity of allowing participation. involvement, and the act of being insid e the work of art itself." -LAwrence Halprin, Landscape Architect city energy -a nucleus attrac ting yet more activity and excitement. Th e supp l y of active 00\vntown places creates the demand for more. The activity and demand support private sector investmentS in cotnmer cial, retail and h ousing development, creat ing a Strong economy and a secure tax base for further improvementS. The special urban environ ment becomes the place to be -to work, shop, live, and play. THE CONNECTIONS ties, we will fulfill a yearning in our environment and create the most memorable element in Downtown Denver. A system of connection s or links completes the physical framework by encouragi n g the flow of people and activity between Downtown's activity centers and the Mall, its anchors and the waterways. The connection system i s a series of streets that are anchored by impor tant places in the life of the city. These anchors include cultural and social fucilities, parks, s hopping districts, memorable landmarks in Downtown and the neighborhoods TI1e streetS between these anchors and the private developments along them receive special treatment to make them places that people seek out -e nvir onments that draw you into them and along a path from one destination to another the kind of environment for which the Mall is renowned. 19

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FRAMEWORK As a youn g ci ty, D enve r was connected well by its 250 miles of elec trified trolleys and interurban roadw.Jy. This system linked the major amenities in Downtown and the close-in neigh borhoods. B y 1930, the system had been completel y removed as transportation bec-ame oriented to the automobil e Today. o ur roadways provide an effective grid for auto traffic, but their lack of differentiation has left Downtown without CORE C ONNECfiONS The old trolley routes d e m onstrate where Downtown was c01mected t o th e n e i g hborhood<;, a concep t of "co n n ectio n'' that is logical and desirab l e in pr esent da ) D enver. a clearl y defined of connection s among inner-city activities and to the neighborhoods. The 16th Street Mall and a small fragment at Writer Square arc the only links designed to draw pedestrians a l o n g them. I n the heart of Downtown, the new connections will weave together CONNECfiONS TO OPEN SPACE ILLUSTRATION OF A TYPICAL CONNECI'ION STREET 20

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FRAMEWORK activity centers s u c h a s the DCPA. Art Muse um, L ibrary, and Retail D istrict to the M all and the waterways. Positive pedestrian links between these p l aces will draw people from one place to another, and consequently encourage greater use of all Downtown. A n ext ensio n of the connec t ions knits Downtown to the neigh borhoods TRANSITION ZONE CONNECfiONS CREATE PEDESTRIAN IMPROVE AND CREATE OPEN SPACE FOR PEDESTRIANS beyon d, encouragin g full use of the core by inne r-cit y residents. Through the underdeveloped tmnsition zones surroundi n g the core, the distinctive environment of these streets becomes an amenity unt o it<;elf a n anractive environment and predictable investment to w hich pri vate redevelopment can anach. NEIGHBORHOOD CONNECfiONS C REATE COMPATffiLE INFILL : ACTIVE GROUND FLOOR USES, HEIGHT AND BULK DECREASING TOWARDS NEIGHBORHOODS 2 1

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Th e "ya rd stic k is use d t o d e t enninc th e s u i tabilit y o f a street f o r a co nnection street desi g n at i o n Th e iUustrati o n belo w indi cates co mpatibl e inlill developm e nt th a t tre n g thens the over all co nnec ti o n thro u g h th e t rans iti o n zo n es t o th e n e i g hborh oods. FRAMEWORK YARDSTICK FOR CONNECTIONS Streets se lected as connections s hould meet these criteria: They should have the potential to become primarily pedestrian without creating a major disruption of vehicul ar access. for example. by widening sidewalks and reducing vehicul ar traffic. They should link activity centers, landmarks, or parks in as direct a line as possible along the path and a t its ends, providing visual cues that draw people along it. The l and uses along the paths are or must be able to be made active and safe. for example, with housing and retail a t srrcct level, and with the infill of vacant land. The public right-of-way must be able to provide a pedestrian-oriented path. The intent of the connection system is t o physically link amenities, dis tricts, and neighborhoods i n a comprehe nsible system. This ultimately creates a mutually reinforcing effect which makes the entire network func tion better than any of its e lement s could a l o ne. The s treets c h ose n will receive improvements t o help them function links in the connection system. As the illustratio n s suggest those improvements may include: 22 CREATE COMPAT IBL E INFILL: ACTIVE GROUND FLOO R USES, HEI GHT & BULK DECREASING TOWARDS NE I G HBORHOOD S PATH addition of amenities and strcc t scaping t o the path DI STRJCf incentives for appropriate land uses lining the path; and N OD E devclnpment or enhancement of the major anchors at each end of the connection: LANDMARK improvemen t o r additio n of interim l and marks along the path. such as a park. a school or a shopping area: E DGE in lallation of transit c irculatOrs, where appropriate. SONNY LAWSON PARK: O P EN SPACE ALONG PATH PROMOTE HOUSlNG ALO N G CONNECTION SI'REET

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FRAMEWORK "Streets should be for staying in. and not just for movin g througll. the way they are today." -CIIristopher Alexander C URTI S STREET C ONNECfiON LOOKIN G TOW ARD DOWNTOWN C REATE INFILL BUILDrNG O N VACANT LAND, APPROPRIATE U SES INCLUDE HOUSIN G & RETAIL FNE POINTS: NEIGHBOR H OOD ACI'NITY CENTER REVITALI ZE BUSINESS DISTRICT: 23

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FRAMEWORK OPEN SPACE IN THE FRAMEWORK Open space is a key contributor to each element of the Framework. Downt(1J.In's open space is widespread; i t includes parks, plazas, water and city streets. But like many of our other assets, it is not serv ing Denver at peak potential. Much open space is underutilized due to isolation, design problems, or poor progranuning and management. And some of our open space needs are poorly met because high land costs have deterred the development of large assembly places in prime loca tions. But many of these problems can be overcome with a sys tematic approach to the management of the space and relatively minor physical changes. OOWN10WN PLAZAS Downtown Plaza s create public gathering spaces that bring buildings into the social life of the city. The p11L.3S at 17th and California Streets, the May D&F Plaza, the 17th Street Plaza, and Prudential Plaza are examples. To function more fully as humanizing city elements, the more underutilired plazas must be redesigned and upgraded. Zoning bonuses for open space in the core s hould be changed to discourage isolated plazas and a mechanism established to enable individua l property owners to con solidate their open space contributions along streets desig as connections. Finally, these spaces should be managed and programmed as a coordinated system. DOWN10WN PARKS Q(1J.'mown's parks include Civic Center Park and the Denver Center for the Performing A Its Park. Their gree n s p ace offers important relief in the intense development of the city. Civic Center also should serve us Downtown's major public square. But the benefits of thes.e parks are barely felt because they arc isolated from our major activity centers and not well used. To fully take advantage of Downtown's parks, several changes are required: Connect each park to existing activity centers. cspec.ially the Mall, by clear visual and pedestrian links. Those connections should include inviting and safe access t o the parks. Initiate active public space management like that on the 16th Street Mall, to coordinate maintenance, security, and programming of parks as tools to stimulate use. An important element is a recommit mem to programs such as Denver C.A.R.E.S. to aid the transient population. 24 16th STREET MALL OPENING, 1982 Create strategically located new park space in Downtown, both large and small scale. A major new park should be developed between Union Station and the South Platte River, con n ecting Lower Downtown to the River In addition, we should add privately developed pocket parks in a coordinated !.)'Stem throughout Downtown. As with plazas, these spaces should be consolidated along connection s treets, rather than developed randomly. Occasionally they may be developed as interim uses on vacant ground STREETS AND SIDEWALKS In addition to our parks. p lazas, and wat erfronts, D enver's spacious streets and sidewalks afford open space o pportunities. As the Mall has demonstrated, streets can be important gathering places. Even without eliminating traffic, they can be a resource for activities such as sidewalk cafes, performance areas, stages for an exhibits, and more spontaneous gatherings. To promore the street as a gathering place, coMection system streets will be planned to include such features as: widened sidewalks in some areas, l andscaping and other special design treat ment; space design which responds t o adjacent land uses, suc h as restaur ants and cafes to permit seati n g and other activities o n the street; temporary and permanent art: and adjacent building design that maintains the feeling of spaciousness and activity at street level.

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"The park and parkway system (is) the product of the collective and individual heritage of Denver's citizens; the park s and parkway s have been, and are, places of publi c ceremony and of private memory." -1986 National Register Theme Nomination SPACE SYSTEM "I OPEN SPACE PL 25

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FRAMEWORK RIVER AND CREEK OPEN SPACE As a result of the efforts of the Platte River Greenway Foundation, Downtown's riverfront has been transformed from an unsightly back door to attractive recreational open space. But the barrier of the Platte Valley mil yards keeps Confluence Park and the river trails from being part of the daily life of Downtown. Developing the major new park between Union Station and the river is an important step in overcom ing that barrier. In addition, throughout the Central Platte VaUey, the green area along the river should be expanded to provide more usable open space. The Cherry Creek waterfront is also an unrealized opportunity. It nows through much of the Downtown area, in close proximity to major activity centers-within two blocks of the Mall at points. But it is res tricted to a narrow channel between retaining walls and lined with Speer Boulevard's eight lanes of traffic. As a result, it is difficult to use as open space, and difficull even to find. Th transform it. the Creekfront should be expanded to include gathering places at key points: llrh Avenue, Cur tis Street, and Larimer Street -and tied to the Downtown fabric beyond Speer Boulevard along the connection streets. As illustrated, the Creek itself should be enhanced at those points, for example, by shallow pool ing of the water. Other improvements along the Creek's course through Lower Downtown and the P latte Valley can bring the waterway directly to adjacent land uses with a new r iverwalk atmosphere. Specifically, Speer Boulevard trc1ffic should not be allowed to become a greater ba. rrier to people's use of the Creekfront. By recapturing our water we will fulfill a yearning in our environment and create the most memorable element in Downtown Denver. Recapturing those waterways involves: beautifying the waterfront landscape; creating gathering places at strategic along the water's edge; overcoming the barriers that separate Downtown from the water Speer Boulevard and the Platte Valley rail yards; developing strong visual and pedestrian connections that draw peo ple between the Mall and the water; and repeating the image of the waterways throughout Downtown, with shallow pools, fountains, reservoirs, and channels along pedestrian paths. 26 S OUTH PLATTE RIVER AND CHERRY CREEK CONF L UENCE Signage improvements will also improve the use of the waterfront open space, e.g. along the Mall and at other Downtown activity centers. indicating access to the Wdterfront trails, and along the trails to iden tify Downtown attractions. Open spaces in Denver's beautiful climate and setting are particularly appreciated. They add memorable charm and uplifting spirit to city life.

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ClllRI{Y CREEK ". { J i /'' /' l \.-.. \ Ponding a long Cherry Creek tO create a of WJter features, open space. und can be achieved with creek water an'd outlet fl
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FRAMEWORK HOUSING IN THE FRAMEWORK Downtown housing development is the most obstinate hurdle to cteat ing the rich mix of uses that rei nforce each other in an active Down town. But for many reasons Downtown housing may represent the threshold for achievin g the full realization of our v i sion. Denver's experience and that of other cities without a tradition of down town livin g suggest the agenda for overcoming those obstacles: Develop new Downtown retail and othe r entertairunent amenities. Recent analysis by Real Estate Research Corp. found the development of new downtown retail is the strongest factor in the success of down town housing in cities without that tradition. The quickening of lease up in Downtown Denver housing since the opening of T abor Center and Tivoli support that conclusion. I t also suggests we may be entering a new s t age of readi n ess for Downtown h o u sing. Create neighborhoods, not just housing units. Layout programs for specific districts to develop 2,000 units or more over time, with serv i ces, amenities, neighborhood scale streets, and a predictable schedule of routine and capital improvements. Encourage a mix of hous ing types, in cluding rentals and sale units, stacked townhomes, mid rise and high-rise buildings. Focus effortS on developing that neighborhood climate in one core area and one transition zon e at a time This focusing builds market recognition of success at a neighborhood scale. Develop housing targeted to the broad middle-income segment of the market to ac hieve critical muss. Assure new housing development by committing public investment to ihe task of neighborhood building. A development mechanism and o n going revenue stream should be targeted to assure housing develop ment accordi n g to the dis t rict programs. POTENTIAL DOWNTOWN AREAS FOR HOUSING DEVELOPMENT Dou"uow11 Core. Housing in the core is the strongest test of the Down town market. Lower Downtown offers the best potential for housing of any of the core districts. Jt is near the action of Downtown, but is protccte(i from the most intense commercial areas, and has distinc tive character, scale. and available services. Because .l...o\ver Down town is the core's last remai n ing historic area, it is critical that new housing development is in keeping with preservation goals. In addition to the 1200 units in the area now, Lower Downtown can produce 1 ,000-2,000 new units. Tronsi1ion Areas. Th e t ransition zon es in the Downtown area offer substantial amounts of vacant or underdeveloped land close to the core, but at lower land prices. They usually will require greater effort to create a n eighborhood, due to a lack of distinctive character, serv ices, and amenit ies. But large scale development in these espe cially in housing, has the adde(i benefit of eliminating the barrier between Downtown and the neighborhoods. As the connection streets are improved, they will provide the first amenities to which housing 28 DOW NTO WN HOUSING devel opment can attach. Some of these areas have existing housing units that can be preserved and connected. Most have the land area to produce the desired scale of new housing. Th e following list represents for the number of units that might be achieved given available land areas and existing conditions that should be maintained. Central Platte Valley: 4300-5500 units Golden Triangle: 2000-3000 Inner Curtis Park (Arapahoe Triangle); 1000-2000 units Inner Uptown-on-the Hill: 750-2000 units Cleme nts P.ark (Arapahoe 300 500 units Upper Larimer (Arapahoe Triangle): 1 50 300 unitS The development of housing in the Downtown area should not be con sidered to be in lieu of residential improvements in the exist ing neigh borhoods in Denver. Downtown's future is vitally linked t o the health of the c i ty s n eig h borhoods many of which offer opportunities for infill h ousing development as well.

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Originally Denver was a c ity of hom es l ocated in and surrounding Downtown. Thday th e core is separated from th e neighborhoods by a ring of underde v e loped l and which creates physical and psycho l ogical barriers. T h e plan eliminates th e barriers by creating new neighborhood s. .... ""'"'"": ... ,; ........ ,, .. --..... ...... ........ ,.,: 40. '!1 !'1 1 I M o:,-; ro:t r) &'lr 11 Lffi'.O::JJ T ,, .............. ..u-l.:.a J .. l";-t ,.J [.L lo "jf' .._,.J'"".Zf."l .., '"'tll- t t .. t:t .. :t' o,; t.: ..... :i,H;,, !"i..tl .. l. .. ... a .!: .1 :--; l"''f" l (RI&Hlt .&NIIS r.-'t" J fJ p r [ ] r.f l L1 ..,I ..:. .. '. : l ; l'1' t' l q 3"J .. r ; W"'] r. C""' l j hl i'l : ...... z:,_ .. oJ J .. la ... .a !.J 1,.; )1, ""'" Ll ... '-' f"'! i '.! ...... ... ..,. -p gr. l ... s t.-: J t ... i:..J w .. J r_: L.>i .l tLa f -i!t""'.i r.l t""J .. .,. } f'OJ 1"",!. M ... ...J t.;.; .,.J 1.. t 1 ... ...11: r.:. ; .. .,... _,....,.., .. Jl l ] ... .. t .. : .... -........ ... .,. i .; .. ... "':'"''.,.. a i'H" .. """'"-'!.... tW ........ .. 1 !'J L L j I I r 29

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PRINCIPLES FOR DOWNTOWN TRANSPORTATION AND DEVEWPMENT 30 I m provements to the Down town transpo r tation system should be consisten t with t h e following pri nciples: Transportation policies a n d facilities shou l d stimulate a significant increase in use of transit and ridesharing. 17ze regional rapid tramit system s l w ulll serve D ow nt ow n directly withow the need to tromfer, particularly near the Downtown end of the trip. Eliminating transfers beyond the vicinity of home is a major fac tor in adding convenience and improving tmvel time for the system t1vo c/zarac teristics that are pa11icularly influential in attracting new riders. DolwiiUIVJl should be easy to reach by car to maintain its competitive position in the regional mm*et Ttaffic should be broug/11 directly t o its destination from the regional arterial sys tem to milzimize through-traffic i n Down town districts and neighborhoods. For example, tmffi c destined for the Financial Di strict should 110t be routed through Lower Dowmown. A balance should be maintained between vehicular and pedestrian space in Down town. This will per1nit r educing or eliminati n g auto traffic on some streets. ACCESS Downtown's vision for the future includes substantial improvements in the way we get to and move around in Downtown. For the foreseeable future, commuters and visitors will remain Downtown's primary market. Quality access by transit and automobile is a prerequisit e to the successful future for Downtown D enver. It i s an important ingredient in Downtown 's future as an econ omic center. It 's also a key fuctor in the W.!f users feel about Downtown, and their ability to take advantage of its entertainment education, and employment opportunities. The challenge i s to provide that access i n harmo n y with our concerns for air quality, m ountain views, urban beauty, and the strength of our neighborhoods. By the year 2000, peak hour automobile trip s to Downtown will exceed the existing capacity of the arterial road system by nearly 50%. This means that if street capacity and c urr ent commuting patterns remain roughly as they are today, access to Downtown be difficult or vir tually impossible for much of the day. The situation would be simila r -or worse-for all the other employment and activity centers i n the metro area. I f the percentage of commuters who drive alone continues at present levels, we will need to find an additional 38 lanes of highway capacity into and out of Downtown. Thi s prospect is unacceptabl e for its effects on both Downtown and the n eighborhoods. A balanced combinatio n of improved auto capacity and inc r ease d use of transit and ridesharing is needed to respond to our inc reasing access demands.

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It is imperati ve that g ood access to from1 and within D ow ntown be maintain ed. It i s equally important tha t ac c ess be a n in te gral part of the plan to stre n g th e n th e ove rall urba n d es i g n and ec on omic strategy. CONCLUSIONS: ACCESS NEEDS All highway corridors have some problem congestion points requiring attention. Roadways entering the Downtown area from the southeast, southwest, and northwest wiJJ require additional capacity. Peak hour transit ridership to the Downtown area must be doubled by the year 2000, from 12,500 per hour (approximate .ly 25% of hourly com muters) to 25, 000 per hour (approximately 36%). Avemge auto occupancy must be increased before the year 2000 from the present 1.15 t o at least 1.3 persons per vehicle during peak periods. DOWNTOWN ROADWAY SYSTEM An ana lysis of roadway capacities and projected demands reveals signifi can t deficiencies on roadways providing access into Downtown, panicularly from the southeast, southwest, and northwest. Capacity and efficiency improvements should be made at key traffic congestion points and along the primary roadway corridors leading into Downtown. T h ese improvements will provide incremental increases in overall roadway capacity. B u t they will only make the roadway system work if they are combined with a simultaneous shift of a substantial proponion of commuters f rom single occupant auto to transit and ridesharing The roadway access p lan con tains t hree major components, described below. DEMAND 8800 CAPACITY w DEMAND S300 OMAHD =BoO CAPACI TY =5700 NW CAPACI TY -cooo sw DEMAND -7800 = MAJOR DEFICIENCY CAPACI TY o:;:DE\CAND = 3700 NE E SE CAPAClTY =6300 CAPACITY =2400 DEMAND CAPACITY 7100 DEMAND =8500 DOWNTOWN ACCESS DEFICIENCIES ACCESS CONGESTION POINTS Within each of the corridors where capacit y deficiencies have been noted, there are one or more key con gestion points (bottlenecks) or substandard sections which will need significant improvement. We must eliminate bot tlenecks that: are located on corridors projected to have access deficiencies; can be improved in a manner consistent with Downtown P lan pr inciples; are realistically reducible; and are the obstacles to major increases i n roadway capacity. Based on those criteria, all of t h e following i n tersections should be recon structed to reduce bottlenecks prior to the year 2000. The first fOur are most critical : PRO JECI' WCATIO N Colfax/ Speer Champa/Stou t bot tl eneck (critical: New Colfax/1-25 Interchange will greatly exacerbate the prob l em.) 6th/Lincoln/Speer bottleneck (critical: Severely congested.) 8 t h /Bannock/ Speer (critical.) DEFI CIENC Y ADDRES S ED SFJSW Access SE Access SE Access KEY TRAFFIC BOTI'LENECKS 31

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P ROJECf LOCATI O N DEFICIENCY ADD RESSED 19th/20th Corridor bottlenecks NW Access at 1-25, California & Broadway (critical: Could become a major bus and high occupancy vehicle access route to Downtown.) 18th/Tremont/Broadway Internal Circulation Foxl23rd Corridor bottleneck s NW Access at 1-25, Arapahoe & Broadway Colfax/Broadway/Lincoln bottleneck Speer/Biake/MarkeLILarimer SE Access SE/SW Access In addition to these specific intersection improvements, consideratio n should be given to the potential to increase traffic capacity by: updating and coordinating the overall traffic signalization system; and eliminating the "aU-walk'' signal phase in areas of low pedestrian volumes. STRAT EGIC NEW ROAD WAY PROJECTS Of the broad range of project ideas, the following roadway suggestions deserve detailed attention because of their potential to deal with capacity deficiencies within the context of our long-term goals for Downtown. L in c oln/Br oadway G rand Parkway from I-25 into Downtown. This idea for further study envisions a major land-use development and road way consolidation in the corridor between Acoma and Sherman. This project would improve vehicular access from the southeast and stimulate opportunities for redevelopment of this corridor. This concept includes a possible landscaped transitway at-grade in the center of the parkway, that would serve Downtown and provide access to the south. A n e w ro a dway in th e Pl atte Valley b e h ind Unio n Stat i o n connectin g Speer Bl v d an d 2 0 t h Str eet. This would provide additional access into Lower Downtown and the Platte Valley without encourag ing trips ta cut through non-destination areas. This is also a major component of the Downtown ring road concept descn'bed below. A m a j o r roadway improv e m e n t t o Downtown fr o m t h e SE/SW. Significantly increase capacity around Downtown and effectively add more southwest radial access into Downtown along I-25 or a parallel corridor. Ex t ens i o n of th e 1 3 th/14 t h Avenu e One-Way Arteria l Pa i r to Fe d eral Boulevar d This concept would improve auto access by providing a much needed reconnection of the southwestern street grid with that of Downtown, and reversing the direction of 13th/14th Avenues between Yosemite and Federal to conform to typical turning expec tations for one-way streets. 32 ACCESS In addition to the projects noted, improvements to a number of regional corridors leading into Downtown, particularly those serving the southeast, southwest, and northwest quadrants, deserve further attention: NOR THWEST QUADRANT 23rd Street, I-25 to Downtown 19th/20th Street corridor, I-25 to Downtown Speer Boulevard, 1-25 to Colfax S OUTHEAST/SO U T HWEST QUADRANTS W 17th Avenue, I-25 to the Central Platte Valley Auraria Parkway, 7th Street to Lower Downtown/Skyline Colfax Avenue, I-25 to midDowntown New roadway in the central rail yards corridor Cherokee/Delaware, upgraded one-way pair from Speer to Colfax (Upper Downtown) STRAT EGIC NEW ROADWA Y P ROJECTS

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DOWN10WN RING ROAD T o allow tr affic to reac h each district of Downtown without having to cross through others, further study should be given to a Downtown Ring R oad, using the existing roadways that are generally at the edges of the Downtown core: Speer Boulevard from behind Union Station to the J3th/14th Avenues one-way pair; 13th/14th Avenue one-way pair, between Broadway/ Lincoln ; Broadway/Lincoln between 13th/14th and 19th/20th: l9tb/20th Streets between Broadway/Lincoln and Union Station; and the new Platte Valley roadway, behind Union Station from 19th/20th to Speer B oulevard. These facilities are each key elements of the regional corridor connec tions t o Downtown. They also can function as a loop to improve acces sibility from any g iven corridor t o individual Downtown districts. Through special paving treatment, landsl.-aping, and signing, this loop can be highly visible to the m o t or ist as a means to become reoriented to the Downtown grid. Th e ring road v.uuld be to Downtown what a well landscaped and signed airport access road is for a traveler look ing for a particular airline. REGIONAL RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM Th e metropolitan area, the city and Downtown need a premium qual ity regional rapid transit system providing direct service into Downtown without a transfer. Such a system has the ability to attract enough new riders that our access n eeds c-an be met with limited building of new highways. It ca n bring new joint development opportunities, to help reactivate the central core, and direct new growth to preferred areas. This regional rapid transit system must provide both reduced travel time and superior access directly into the core area. It must carry at least 50,000 peak-h our regional riders into Downtown. and be able to add capacity. This will require a grade separated system. Such a system will meet Downtown needs over the next thiny to fifty years, and therefore should be designed to carry a variety of transit vehicles. In order to achieve the needed carrying capacity without subverting other Downtown development objectives, the Downtown component of this regional tr.msit system shou l d con sist of: a high-capacity, below-grade transit line along the 15th Street corridor; con tinued use of the 16th S t reet Mall; a new transit mall on a "named" street in the core area. In addition to these regional e l ements, internal Downtown circulation needs will require shuttle bus and perhaps higher level services. Incremental projects designed to improve circulation within specific dis tricts and subareas (suc h as the proposed Auraria monorail) sho uld be evaluated as opportunities to improve overall Downtown circulation. "With the exception of the steam railways, n o instihJtion has. done so much for the upbuilding of Denver as the stree t railway system ... -1bm Smiley, History of Denver, 1901 ACCESS FIFI'EENTH STREET GRADE-SEPARATED TRANSIT FACILITY This should provide high capacity through-service in Downtown. Through-service (without the need for transfers) adds convenience and reduces travel time on the system -factorS that are c riti ca l to capt ure the more discretionary rider, whose use of transit i s a key to making the regional access plan v.urk. Grade-separation is necessary in order t o provide a system ca pacity of up to 40,000 persons per hour (20,000 per direction) in Downtown. On the basis of the impact on the Downtown community, this component of the regional system should be belowgrade, rather than elevated, While a below grade solution is clearly preferable, a detailed analysis necessary to affirm such a system should address urban design and eco nomic impacts, costs, constructability, construction time, and the ability to link the Downtown component to the technologies used in each of t he regional system corridors without a u.msfer. # POSSIBLE AT G ( / I NITIAL PHASE w AT GRAOE 'TRANSIT a.. MALL .. -lp;:::V AO E ,l. AT G R ADE RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM 33

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TROLLEY SYSTEM: CENT RAL LOOP STATI O N The system should be located in the 15th Street corridor. An aljgnmcnt paralle l to the Mall provides the most efficient service to curre n t and projected development in the Downtown area. I t provides eJteellent high capacity transit access between Downtown and major regional destina tions, and connects important Downtown activity and development centers, including: the redeveloped Platte 'Valley Larimer Square-Writer Square-Tabor Center, Auraria and Tivoli the DCPA and Currigan Hall California Street, Downtown 's center of employment, Civic Cent er, the D enver Public Library and the Art Museum Denver General Hospital T he 15th Street location specifically would: draw riders through the Retail District to reach the major employment center, the Financial District ; generate traffic in the Silver Triangle, where redevelopment is desired: and provide opportunities for joint development of several blocks as the 15th-16th Street corridor redevelops. combining public transit t:or ridors and stations with private buildings. With these be nefits, the 1 5th S treet below grade transit Hne offers an opportunity to achieve many of the objectives of the Framework while creating the key element in our transportation system for the year 2000. Due to the extended lead time needed for projects of this type, implementation planning for this component of the overall system should begin quickJy. THE SIXTEENTH SI'REET MALL The Sixteenth Street Mall should continue to function as both a key link in the regional bus system and an important Downtown circulator. In the future, the Mall terminals can accommodate LTD bus routes, central area circulators, local routes, and express routes from not served by fixed guideway transit lines. But current shuttle bus volumes on the Mall are near maximum. H igher volumes would be detrimen ta l to the character and functioning of the Mall. 34 ACCESS NEW TRANSIT MALL A new facility to expand Downtown transit capacity beyond that provided by the Sixteenth Street Mall is likel y to be a necessary invest ment in the near future. The development of the 15th Street grade sepa rated transit corridor could be a long-term project. During that time, ridership growth is projected to exceed the practical or desirable capacity of the 16th Street Mall. Therefore, a transit street should be developed on a cross-Mall "named" street. This facility should be designed to carry 20,000 transit riders with an enlarged pedestrian and waiting capacity. Volumes in excess of this level must be accommodated by the 15th Street facility, i n order to prevent operat ion that is disruptive to the Fabri c of Downtown and hampers automobile an d pedestrian now. The transit street should be a quality urban design asset to the area, with widened sidewalks, bus stop amenities, treatment f o r peak hour tran sit vehicle priority, and other pedestrian amenities. 1b meet standards for convenient service, the selected street should be located in Upper Downtown (e.g. between Stout and Glenarm Streets}. California Street provides a unique opportunity for transit street treat ment, and should be given full consideration. I t conveniently serves the trip destination pattern, and removing it from the roadway system at peak hour would cause a relatively small loss of auto capacity Downtown Constructing this rapid transit system is the key to assuring that Down town remains accessible and the Denver region remains economically alive. I t is a bold stroke -one that is needed to meet one of our most critical needs. CAL IFORNIA ST. TRANSIT MALL

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THE 15TH STREET TRANSIT C ORRIDOR AS A MAJOR URBAN DEVEWPMENT ELEMENT The new 1 5th S treet 1hlnsit Corridor will p rovide excellen t high capacity access between Downtown and major region a l destinations. It w ill a lso con nect key Downtown a ctivi ty/developmen t center s such as: the redeveloped Platte Valley lArimer Square, Writer Square and 7abor Center the DCPA, and Califomia Street, Downtowns cemer of emp l o)ment Civic Cemer, TI1e Denvet Public Ubrary and rite An Mtt.tellm, and Denver Ge11eral Hospital. T h e illustration be low introd u ces a major joint development o ppor tunity, an id ea tha t war re nts furth e r study T his concept int egra tes the go als o f the access pla n with those of the R e tai l District a n d the Silv e r Tri a n gle. ACCESS Construction of the 15th Street fucility offers an opportunity to integrate thjs new transit corridor w ith the 16th Street Mall and serve the grow ing volume of pedestrian traffic as the Mall reaches its overflow point. One opportunity deserves further study: creating a continuous multi block retail spine at mid-block between 15th and 16th Streets, as an extension of the Mall and a direct station mezzanine to the transit system. MID BLOCK GALLERIA BETWEEN 15TH & 16TH AT THE STAT ION 35

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Pedestrian traffic o n the Mall is close to capacity. The 15th Street Transit Corridor and the new transit mall will relieve the demands on the Mall shuttle bus system. And the connection system streets will provide new opportunities for pedestrian life radiating from the Mall. But as pedes trian traffic grows, we will also need an active pedestrian link that flows the length of Downtown, through the Retail District. The demands on our roadway system make it impossible to reduce or eliminate auto traffic on 15th or 17th Streets t o create a new paralle l Mall. The mid-block retail s p i n e creates the opportunity to meet that demand with a space that has the feeling of a parallel exte nsion of the Mall itself but is below surface. ACCESS Extending through most of the Retail D istrict, this link creates a retail galleria that would handle the overflow of pedestrians as several blocks along the Mall are redeveloped with major commercial projects that increase demands on the Mall. It will form an active retail link among those developments and an attractive connection between the Mall and the tranSit corridor. It should be aligned behind the many historic buildings on the Mall, enabling development density t o rise behind that point, preserving both the remaining historic frontage and sunlight on the Mall. T his will also allow the galleria to be designed to be open to skylight. The galleria concept offers the potential of combinin g the positive ele ments of access, land use, and urban design to create an important fea ture of Downtown and address the "problems of success" caused by the Mall' s popularity SECI'ION THROUGH THE 15TH & 16TH STREET JOINT DEVEWPMENT TRANSIT CORRIDOR 36

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PARKING MANAGEMENT SYSTEM Parking i s a persistent need in the Downtown access system. It surfaces as a problem for shoppers, employees. tourists, and day-trip visitors. The nearly 40,000 off-street parking spaces in the Downtown core more than meet today's demand; vacancies are high in a number of new parking !n the context of the access plan for Downtown, that sup ply w1ll conunue to be adequate. The problem in parking is less one of supply than of management. The problem: The parking system favors commuters OYer shoppers, clients. or visi tors. Rate strucrurcs often make it as expenshe to park for three hours as for a full day. With that incentive commuters, the first drivers to arr ive, fill the most desirable spaces close to the Mall and 17th Street. B y the time shoppers and visitors arrive, only l ess desirable outlying spaces are available. Denver's on-street meter rates are low substantially below those of many cities our size. I n some cases it is Jess expensive to park at a meter for several hours than in an off-street l ot. The result is that o n spaces, which should be available for the driver making only a qu1ck stop for an errand, nrc being monopolized by longer-term parker s who would otherwise be satisfied in off-street Jots. Because parking is not located, it is hard t o find for the uninitiated, and rates arc often inscrutable due to the variety of sign age and rate descriptions. ACCESS The parking validation program is poorly used by merchants and bus because, with the wide variety of parking rates Downtown, it IS dtfficult to control the cost of the pro gram to the validator. As a result, it cannot be widely promoted without risk of consumer alic nation on discovering that many retailers don't participate. To overcome these obstacles, Downtown needs an agressivc parking management program. The heart of the system is a proposed new pub lic/private Downtown Parking Council that links the various interests of the Downtown bu iness community in parking -retailers, business and employers. parking operators, property owners, and developers with the City. The Council would administer those interests in a comprehensive parking strategy which \\.'Ould: Convert some close-in, otT-street lots to short-term parking with a rate structure to discourage long-term parking. Install coordinated signuge to identify short-term lots, with uniform descriptions of rates. and pathfinder signs. The Denver Partnership's exis tin g validation program and mcrcase business panicipation in it, by negotiatin g a stmcrure in which the value of an hour's validation is standardized and the level of subsidy required by the validator is limited. Actively promote the parking !tystem and validation program. Jn addition to this thrust for short-term parking, the Downtown Pnrk coordinate commuter parking, including parking for ndesharcrs. It would advise the City on parking policy, regulauon and enforcement. As with many of the needs Facing Downtown, the resources exist to eliminate the complaint, "no place t o park." The challenge is to bridge the diverse interests involved in the issue and organize them into a sys tem that puts parking where consumers want it. and makes it easy to use.

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DISTRICf LOCAT ION MAP Downtown is composed of a number of districts, easily identifiable, with each contributing a special charac t er or use to an exciting mosaic. This distinctiveness helps to orient us in the city, and reduces Downtnwn to understandable hits. The districts can generally be divided in two ca t egories: THE C ORE DISTRICfS 1 Retail District--------- Civic Center Lower Downtown Financial Dist rict Silver T riangle Auraria H igher Education Center THE TRANSITION WNES Golden Triangle Central P latte Valley I nner Uptown on the Hill \-Arapahoe Triangle The Core D istric t s make up t he heart of Downtown, with the major s h opping areas, government and business centers, and an educationa l campus. Also included is Downtown's last remaining commercia l historic area, Lower Downtown and the S i lver Triangle the area idcotificd for the next p h ase expansion of the Financial D istrict. 111esc core districts arc bound in the Phm by the in-town connection l>)'S tem, the vehicle by w hich Downtown 's activity centers can work as a network, makin g the w h ole greater than its parts. J n addition to the Core and Transitio n Zone D istricts, several close-in neighborhoods border Downtown. T he P lan docs not presume to plan these neighborhoods, which have extensive planning efforts of their own. But t h e Downtown Area Plan is coordinated with those efforts. Special DISTRICTS consideration has been given to the definit ion of edges i n places where Downtown may encroach on the neighborhoods. The leg of the con nectio n system extends into the neighborhoods, bringing Downtown back to the cullurc of the neighborhoods and providing a n invitation for close-i n residents to enjoy all that Downtown has to offer. OVERALL ISSUFS AND RECOMMENDATIONS In addition to the specific plans for each district that follow, there are a number of i mportant issues and recommendation s w h ich apply to all of the districts. The district plans are designed to reinforce or create the dis t rict iden tities that distinguish each district from t he other. To be consis t e n t with those visions, modifications will be needed in existing zoning and development regulations, recognizing the differen t roles and chamcter of each d i strict. T o reinforce the district identities, zoning categories should be labeUed with more understandabl e district specific labels, (for example, Lower Downtown rather than B-7.) Recognizable entries are needed for each district as well. One exampl e is the W elcome Arch which once stood in fron t of Union Station, although most entries would not be that dramatic. In every district, the principles of the Constitu t ion, the Plan's values, apply. The need to celebrate the street and t h e o utdoors, to maintain our relationship to the mountains. the sky, and our historic past shapes each district image. Downtown's existing sky bridges are not consis tent with t h ose p r i n ci ples and should be removed. Similar seco nd-level connectio n s should be discouraged in general, except where some over riding benefit can not be achieved in a project without suc h a connectio n And a preser vation mechanism is needed fur individual historic buildings throughout the area, including a notification system for demolition. C ont ri b utin g B uildin g Co nn ec ti on Stree t 16th Stre e t Mall Edge o f Cor e Ope n S p a c e R e la ti v e H e i g hts I r--'lr.!IICF'" ...... ,.....::'Dr..,.,.. --, KEY TO 38 I I I I I I I I -..J

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r RETAIL DISTRICf A New Shopping Tradition RELATIONSHIP TO THE FRAMEWORK PIAN 111e 16th Strl'l t Mal11.s the a c tivit y spine of tlw fotail District, as well as The e m i r e Downta11m core. 111e grouping uf Tabor Cemer a/UI Larimer Squar es 011 Larimer S t reet, ers t hl swge for the first link of th< conn ection sys t em lmprol'ements w the blank walls between 15th and 16th o n Larimer Sl r eet will establish a pat h from the Mall IV Cherry Cll!ek, whid1 ro mribllle m The area's m't!roil activity. On the other 1ide of Larimer Square, IIIIIST be a creek side mixe>d-use dr1elopmem to serve Downtown residems and wul dra w people from/he Mall all the way t o The Creek. The 15th Street T!tmsiT Corridor dmws tmm'it rt.tes across the Retail Distric:r and preptlres for the day .when t he Mall is at capacir) as a pedestrian link. It offel'$ the poten tial to knit the Retail District together with m1 additional retail spine be/ow-grade. 1876-7 Thf! first cross town stre# cor up 16th ultimately making 16th S trttt the spine of Downtown. -T.J Noel 1880's lArime r St r eet entered its haydoy as the grandest thorougliforl! between Chicago and San Francisco. Larimer S treet also had the best restaurants (ffi!l monicds of the Wes t a nd the ManhattDII). and t he best deportment s t o res (D&F Sto res Company, Joslin's Dry Goods Company. a nd Tht Denver Dry Goods). -T.J. Noel. Denver's Larim er Sqilare, 1981 DISTRICTS C HARACTER SKETCH The Retill District runs along the 16th Street Mall, and is dc.tincd at nne e n d by the May D&F depanmcnt and at the o ther hy the complex of Tabor Cente r Writer Square. and Larimer Squar e It is Downtown major shopping area. with t hree m a jor anchor depanment stores and a vJriety of restaurants and specialt y shops The Mall's free shut tle bu system tics the district and encourages shoppers to usc its full length. Retai l is the hean of Downtown. t h e magnet tor the city a.; a center for socia l interaction and a m ajor amenity fi>r all o ther D o wntown developm ent. DOWNTOWN RETAIL 39

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ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS The Retail District is not living up to its potential as a major base for Downtown or as a revenue producer because it needs additional anchor Stores, and it lacks coordinated store hours and promotions. 40 To improv e the draw t o existing Downtown r etai l, two t o f our n ew a n c hor s t o res s hould b e developed. Pub li c investm e nt w ill b e n ecessa r y to attract these stores. Downtow n 's co mm o n pub lic s pa ce m a n age m ent and pro m ot i ons s h ou ld be expande d to includ e common store h o u rs and m ore extensive promoti ons to e nabl e Downtow n retai l t o work as a system. A broad range of retail fac iliti es would serve the regional and n e i g hborhood mar kets, and draw a greater number o f peop l e to the district. PROPOSED NEW RETAIL ANCHOR DISTRICfS

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Short-term parking is not weU located or marketed fur retail use. Rates are too h i g h in p roportion to the prevailing long-term rate structures. T h e prev iousl y describ e d Downtown Parking C ouncil s h o uld be f ormed t o mana g e and promote ofT-s t reet parking. The Counc il should: Create shortt erm shopper/visitor parking lots adjacent to the Mall, with coordinated, easy to read signage. I.nstaU pathfinder s i gns throughout DowntO\m direc tin g v isitors to the shortt erm lots. E nhance the DolmtO\m parking va Udation syste m b y s tandardiz ing the c o s t to va lidators and p arking operators. A c ti ve l y promote Downto w n parking and va lidation system. Structure on-stree t mete r rates and enforcement to e n courag e turnov e r and support the activiti es o f the Dmmtmm Parking C ouncil Retail frontages along the MaJI are interrupted by several dead spots that deter the flow of shoppers from one end of the Mall to the other. New d ev elopment in the r e tail distri ct s hou l d concentrate o n fill ing the g a p s i n frontage from Court t o Larimer Streets. Next, d evelopment should be e ncouraged a long the connec tion streets adjacent t o the M all The outdoor character of the MaJJ is endangered by the possible loss of sunlight on the Mall as the properties on its south side are redeve loped. Historic buildings which distinguish the retail district as a spe cial shopping place could aJso be lost to new development. The m ass in g of n e w building s alon g the south side of t h e Mall s h o uld permit s unlight t o reach the street between 1 0 : 00 a m and 2:00 p m With that m assing, existing historic buildin gs should b e preserve d along the Mall to maintain the distin ctive charac t e r of the Mall. The location of the retail district is not obvious to infrequent visitors. Desi g n strong e r entrances t o th e R eta il D ist rict and understand able pedestrian connec tions t o adjacent a c t i v it y centers and clo se-in n eighbor hoods 1930 "16th Street, the retail shopping center, a thoroughfare of i nfi n ite c harm, of action and brilliant life, is gi1-en 01-er to smart shops, towering office buildings and department stores, which through their affiliations and offices i n the mar ket capitals of the world, are comparoble to th e proudest stores i n New York." -Dem-er Chamber of Commerce: D istinctive Denver, 1925 1982 16th Street Mall opens, revi taluing t h e h istoric r etoil d istrict. DISTRICIS URBAN DESIGN DIAGRAM: Vi e w Up 16th Street Mall 41

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The day is approaching whe n the Mall will no l onger be abl e t o han dle the demands of pedestri an s and shoppers. 42 Although tbe 16th Street Mall s hould continue to fun c ti o n as both a key link in the regional bus syste m and an important Downtown c i rcu l ator, a second ped estrian path will be need e d in the Retail District. The 15th Street Transit Corridor provides the VIEW OF THE MID-BLOCK GALLERIA FROM THE: REPUBLIC TOWER The joint dev e l opment idea discussed in the Acc ess section is illus trated on these two pages. The illustration on the left s ho"''S the parallel pedestrian galleria directl y behind the historic building s on the 16th Street Mall. The illu stration on the right is a vk w within the galleria. DISTRICIS opportunity to meet that n ee d with a below-grade connectio n mid-block between 15th and 16th StreeiS, to link retail a lon g the south side o f the Mall with a continuous indoor pathway. An acth-e retail galleria running the l ength of this corridor co uld connect n ew private development with transit s tations and pro vide a ple asa nt path betwe e n trans it and s hopping. MID-BLOCK GALLERIA BETWEEN 15TH & 16TH SfREET

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The cross sect i on below indicates the horizonta l relationship between: the below grade transit corridor on 15th Street; s tructured pa rkin g above and be low grade in conjunction with new office development linked to the emp l oyment center via the Retail District; a retail ga ll eria; the 16th St rcet MaiJ. The integration of trans i t, office, retail public space, and parking reinforces each individual function in the core The resultant co n centrated activ i ty increas es the excitement of a dense urban place and makes it even more attract ive to peop l e, business and new d evelo pment. DISTRICTS SECfiON THROUGH THE 15TH & 16TH STREET JOINT DEVEWPMENT TRANSIT CORRIDOR 43

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44 CIVIC CENTER Government on the Green RELATIONSHIP TO THE FRAMEWORK PLAN 77re Framework Plan identifies CMc Cemer as one of fll\'1 andrors to the 16th Street Moll. To realize the Moll's full potential as a spine for Downtown, it num be /inked more strongly to the park. P hysical impro\'ellu!flts alo11g Cle1e/and Place, cmd across Co/fin Al'eJIIU! must create an im'iting pedestritm path (0 the park, COIIfleCting it fO the Mall. 17ris could com't'l1 Civic Cemer Par k from n tmj]ic isltmd imo more usable city open space. With redesign and new progrommillg. uctil'e uses will enhance the pm*. m<1king the ne.u link, to the A r t Museum and Library across the park, a n afllrol one. DISTRICIS CHARACTER SKETCH Civic Center is one of the most memorable districts in Downtown because of the concentration of major public buildings surrounding Downtown's largest open space. Civic Center is located south of the 16th Street M all, ext ending from Colfax toW 13th Avenue. T he cast a n d west ends of the district are defined by the State Capitol Building and the United States Mint, respectively. Its theme i set by Civic Center Park, a formal green space surrounded by the Capitol, the Main Pub lic Library, Art Museum, and the City and County Building. The design is classical and grew out of the City Beautiful movement of the early 1900s. As the center of government for both the City a n d t h e State, Civic Center provides a focus and attraction of which all Colorado residents arc proud. T he park is the largest developed open space adjacent to Downtown and has the potential to be an exciting gathering place and one of Downtown 's best used amenities. ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS Civic Center Park is generall y underutilized and needs impf'O\Iement and programming to make it a more active place C i vic C enter s hould be ma g nified as a n urban cent e rpi ece and re inforced as a n a nchor to Downt o wn Adja c ent d e v e lopment in the Silver and G old e n Tria n gl es s hould take advantal( e of th e presence and reinforce ils influenc e as a for pcQpl e and a c tivity C i v i c Center 's park and plaza areas s hould be upgraded A cohe s ive sys t e m o f s hcet furnitur e and Ughtin g will es tablish a s tron ge r image for the park. A d e tailed d es i g n plan will be required CIVIC CENTER CONNECfiON TO GOLDEN TRIANGLE AT THE ART MUSEUM

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A public sp ac e mana ge m e n t e ntit y s hould develop and promote activities w ithin the park. New u ses, activities and a m e nties s hould b e devel oped in th e park and Wate r B oar d Buildin g to gen e rat e nig httime activity unci inc rease safety. Bannock S t reet, Broadway, and Lincoln Street surrounding the dis trict carry high volumes of traffic and act a s a barrier for use of the park. Although only one block away, the park i s nearly invistble from the Mall. Street and intersection improvements are need e d t o overcome the barriers of the CoU ax and 14th Avenue for easi er pedes trian access t o th e park Improvements a long C level and Place 1916 "In the heart of the city, (Mayor) Speer proposed a park-like Civic Center (with) gardens, monuments, a library, fountains. and an outdoor Greek theatre. 'Why the hell does Demoer need a Greek theatrt?' sniped one of Speer's crirics; ain't got that many Greeks here.' -T. J Noel, Denver: Rocky Mountain Gold, 1980 DISTRICfS from th e Mall to the park will connect the park to the h ear t o f Downtown. Parking which serves Civic Center is insufficient and inconvenient. B e low-grade parkin g immediat e l y north of th e purk between Broadway and 14th S tre e t would tic into the exi s tin g Radisson Building. Expanding g<.,-emmcm might inmldc on adjacent Concentrat e new Civic Center s tate, c ity, a nd privut e commer cial development in th e Silver and Golde n Triangle s to uvoid the impa c t o n adjacent n e i g hb orhood s. C ONNE C TION ACROSS COLFAX AVENUE FROM CLEVELAND PLACE TO CIVIC CENTER PARK 45

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46 LOWER DOWNIOWN Denver's Birlh Place RELATIONSHIP 1VTHE FRAMEWORK P-LAN L ower Dowmow11's Union Station is one of the anchors to the 16th Street M all. To strengthen that anchor and comp lete the colmec t io n of the M a ll to the river, the Mall should be extended to a redeveloped Union Station and then beyond it to tire proposed D e n ver Common and the Pl alle Ri 1 er. Union Station. the symbolic hean of l.hwer DowmoMI, should be restored as a strong activity center. The Cherry Creek warerfrolll should be rede1'e/oped to influence developmellt in Lower D owntown o n ce agai n 111e 16th Street ga t eway to Lower D owmown at Larimer Street is strengthened with improvemems to the blank walls between 15th and 1 6th Streets. This historically imponant block has been erased by new development, but can be remodeled to include active uses. DISTRICTS CHARACTER SKETCH lower Downtown is located at the north end of the 1 6th Street Mall between Speer Boulevard and 20th Street, Larimer Square, and the Cen tral Platte \hlley. It is the birthplace of the City of Denver and original location for many of its urban institutions: City Hall, the Mint, com mercial and retail shops, and Constitution Hall. I t is o n e of the most sensi tive and vulnerable di tricts in Downtown. L.ower Downtown contains a mix of uses, including office, retail, res taurants h ousing. and parkin g throug h out. It i s a tradi t ional and growin g home to the design community. Because of its h i stor i c c h arac ter human scale, and architectural detail, L.ower Downtown can become a ri c h pedestria n e n vironment. Lower Downtown i s an asset to the entire city and region, the last remaining historic commercial district in the Downtown core. Its historic character is a pleasure for the whole region to e n joy and share with the "M>rld. It' s also a market asset to Downtown. The district must be preserved and redeveloped through a package of actions tha t stimu l a t e new economic demand in l..o\ver Downtown, and that protect its historic c hara cte r by p reserving the existing bui lding s and promoting compat ible infiJJ development. LOWER DOWNTOWN AT MARKET STREET

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ISSUES The unique historic c h aracter and scale of Lower Downtown is threa tened by the demolition of irreplaceable buildings. Lower Downtown has the potential to be a distinctive mixed-use historic district, with a charac ter tha t creates a special market draw for development and leasing -and a people draw for both and tourists. The district as a whole should be one of Denver's great landmarks the not-to-be-missed place. 1b function in that fashion, a strong, critical mass of older build ings in the area must be restored and reactivated. The preser vation of only the ''best'' or most historic buildings will not meet tha t need. C urrently, Lower Downtown market conditions are slow, and develop ment is at a virtual standstill. potential is largely umapped for the var ious land uses it should attrac t as the economy expands. I t is an 1858 A small party of gold seekers claimed the area which is today Lower Dnwn town, calling it St. Charles. Before the original party could obtain a legal town charter. General William Larimer's party assumed the claim. and named it Denver City. 1860's Lower Downtmvn was the site of almost all Q/ Denver's firsts: its jail, hospi tal (l!l'tn though the first patient died), mU$eum, post office, red light district, ftl'$t mint and bank, and the Elephant Corral the first transportation hub. DISTRICTS important center for the design industry, and with its architectural interest and central location should remain so. Its charac ter, scale, and existing concentration of restaurants make i t a stro n g candidate as Downtown's entertainment center. Of all the districts in the core, l..o\ver Downtown is the most logical for a Downtown residential n eighbor hood, by virtue of ill historic character, existing housing base, and prox imity to the action of Downtown while being removed from the most intense commercial development. The character of new housing development should be compatible with the preservation goals for l..o\ver Downtown. Lower Downtown is current l y affected by intense bus traffic to Market Street Station. An increase is projected for both bus and auto traffic going through, rather than to this district. Through traffic impedes its future as an historic district, pedestrian environment, and residential community. DENVER'S UNIO N STATION, 16TH STREET MALL ANCHOR 47

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RECOMMENDATIO N S E CONOMIC DEVELOP MEN T Lower Downtown needs a new 1.:conomic generator that will stimulate demand for spin-<>ff ufficc, entenainmcnt, retail. and residential uses. and that will allow hi]>toric to proceed. The City, State. and business community should coopernte to identify and build a development around resources in the area that could become that eco n omic driver. The shoul d be marketed and managed as a cohesive whole includin g public space management and progrnmming, a marketing package geared to both consumers and development/tenant prospects, and on-site coordi n ation of redevelopment. A specific management s tmcture should be designated on the model of the Mall Management District. Specific effortS shou l d be geared to strengthening and attrac ting: the desig n industry, building on the forces of cumulative attraction that already exist in Lower Downtown with its many architec ture and design finns and the prospects to augment that base with the development of Design Center at the l ee House and Blake Street Design D istrict; tourism, entertainment, and nightlife, building on the strength of Larimer Square and Market Street, and Lower Downtown's rcpu tation as a rcstaurnnt district; and -housin g. Develop n eighborhood housin g a t a scale i n Lower Downtown that is compatible w i t h historic preservation, including a mix of housing types and neighborhood amenities. and of both renovation and infill new construction. Lower Downtown l>hould be the prime residential focus in the Downtown core. Create an understandable progrnm of assistance and economic inccn lives for business development in Lower Downtown, including ing loan funds. Create economic incentives for building restoration in Lowt:r Down town which may include as a National H1storic District to make federal tax available to owners of buildings which contribute to the historic c h aracter of the district, and enabling legis l ation for deferral of p roperty tax reassessment. PRESERVATION H istoric structures and o l der buildings should be preserved. In Lower Downtown, it is the co n centration and continuity of olde r buildings that must be preserved and enhanced. Because so much demolition has occurred, i t is not simply individual architectural gems that must be saved, but the critical mass of remaining older buildings. The existing low scale and historic character of the area should be complemented by compatible inflll and property redevelopment to cre a t e a unified overall image. Public space improvements, such as a coordina t ed system of street furniture, paving, lighting, and landscap ing, s h ou l d reinforce the desired character. 1b ac hieve preserva tion objectives, the following policies and reg u l ations s houl d be e nacted t o g uide development i n Lower Downtown. 48 DISTRICfS LOW E R I N FILL Demolition R e view A process should be established for mandatory review of all requests for demolition of existing historic o r contributing buildings in Lower Downtown. The process should draw a reasonable balance between pri vate property rights and the public interest in preserving the critical mas_., of historic character in the It is the responsibility of the property owner to demonstrate it is not feasible to renovate or reuse t11e build ing in question. Demolition Review will function within a 90 day period, including all non-judicial a ppeals, p rior t o issuance of a demolition pcnnit. lnc list of contributing buildings and composition of the demolition review board will be de termined i n & collabora tive process involving Lower Downtown stakeholder:;. D es ign Standards/D es i g n Review New development and redevelopment should meet minimum design standards for compatibility with the historic characte r of the district. The Preservation Planner of the Denver Planning Office will deter mine whether minimum standards have been met, prior to issuance of a building permiL Design consultation will be available to owners and their representa tives from the site planning and co n ceptual design stages in order to avoid delays a t t h e t ime of the decisio n 1b encourage arc h i t ectural crea t ivity withi n the context of the goal s for the district, a desi g n review s h ould be establis hed for developers who have an idea for compatible design that does not con form to the minimum standards. R eview would be conducted by a committee of balanced interests, including design construction, and development. I t may include members agreed to by the applicant in addition to permanent members. The decisions of the Design Review Committee can be appealed first to the Landmark Commission, and then to the Board of Zoning Adjustment. The same design review process \YOuld be avai lable for projects !hat are not approved for conforma n ce wit h the minimum design standards. The m inimum design standards should be co nsistent with the follow ing guide l ines:

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CHARACTER SKETC H OF RENOVATED HISfORJC B L OGS. Fen es trati o n a nd Arti culatio n. Maintain the rhythm and vertical proportion established by the historic context and existing street frontage. Windows must be punched (set in) at lea st one brick width. Sills and lintels must be articulated through color materials, ornamentation, or other means. Each floor must be articulated. Street facades s hould reflect the histor i cal development pattern of the area, generally two to eight lols. Ground level space in multi-lot developments should provide multiple entrances on each street frontage. Set b acks and R oof Unes. The upper 35 feet of a building oYer LIO feet, must meet at least a 30 degree exposure plane. At the first two s tori es the structure must be built to the property lines at sides adjacent to a street to form a continuing s treet frontage. Buildings will be setback between the second and sixth floors at a level equal to or slightly higher than adjacent buildings. Bui.lding height may not CJtceed 150 feet without design review, excluding the current provisions for HVAC equipment. Exterior Mat erials Materials must be in contexl with the color. proportion, and scale of existi n g historic patterns suc h as brick and sandstone. Black, bronze, a n d reflective glass are not permitted as of right Zonin g a nd Parking The current B-7 zoning premiums and bonuses should be fine-tuned to promote more contextual development. within the current allowable density Premiu ms Reduce the premiums for enclosed plazas unenclosed arcades, enclosed arcades, and atriums to make the premium system consis tent with the building form traditionally found in Lower Downtown The setback premium, currently 3 square feet for every I square foot, shou l d be increased to 4:1. 1870 If one noent were to be singled out as having the most profound irifluence in moving Denver from a stfU881lng settlement to become the gateway to tire Rockies, it must be the opening of t he Denver Pacific Railroad. On that day. Denver was tied to the rtSt of the nation, and became parr of a transcon tinenta l system. 1880 Union Terminal emerges as the hearr of the 19th century city. DISTRICfS Bon uses 1b encourage redevelopment of conrributing buildings, consider permit ting those built to 4.0 FAR o r under to add or tmnsfer up to 2 FAR with design review. Existing buildings already built to 4.1 FAR or more may add up to 1.0 FAR with Design Review. As final additions are made o n this incentive. its impact on overall density and the development righL'l market must be evaluated further. For 36 months after new zoning is implemented, additional parking will not be required for floor area added to existing or renovated buildings. Parkin g Requ ire m e nts 1b encourage small er scale new development, as part of the changes to the current zoning, on-site parking requirements should be modified, and a mechanism should be created to fund and develop off-site park ing in Lower Downtown. Contributing structures should continue to be exempt from parking requirements. But as pan of the changes to the current zoning, the fol lowing standards should be applied t o infill development: Developments of less than 5 lots: I s pace per 1000 square feet required; 100% of the requirement may be met off-site. Developments of 5 to 8 lots: one space per 1000 square feet required; 60% of the requirement may be met off-site. Waivers for more than 60% off-site can be provided through the design review process. Developments of more t han 8 lots: on-site parking requirement of one sp a ce per 750 square feet. A waiver to provide any portion of the requirement off-site must go through d esig n review. R esidential uses may meet existing parking requirements or provide a minimum of one space per unit. URBAN DESIGN Lower Downtown should not be a passageway for traffic headed for or leaving the Financial District. Mitigate the impact of existing tmffic that does not originate nor terminate in Lower Downtown, and avoid additional traffic pressure. Modify the imerchange between express. loca l and shuttle buses to alleviate the bus tmffic problems in the district. Preserve and redevelop Union Station as a major activity center and h eart of the district. Views of the Station should be preserved from both Downtown and the river, and ils s urrounding spaces enhanced a open space. Extend the 16th Street Mall through the district. The character of the Mall should help to distinguish Lower Downtown from the Retail and Financial Districts. Public and private land use on 16th Street and other numbered streets in Lower Downtown should reflect the character of this lower seale district, and should not be a continuation of the Retail and Financial Districts. Develop a strong pedestrian connection from Larimer Square to Union Station. 49

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Speer B oulevard should be consolidated west of Cherry Creek to allow Creekfront redevelopment. Both sides of the Creek should be to enhance the usc of rhe wat er amenity. Development along rhe Creek should be consistent with the scale and character of Lower Downtown. and should preserve views to the mountains. The exist ing urban fabric of Lower Downtown s hould extend to the edge of the Creek. The other Creek edge s hould be more pastoral in character. The touchdown points of the viaducts in Lower Downtown current l y intrude upon the district's name streets, cutting off v istas and access. This condition should be remedied through removal and reconstruc tion. with new touchdown beyond Wynkoop Street. The skybridge crossing 17th Street which blocks the view of Union Station should be eliminated. New skybridge development should be discouraged DISTRICfS ...--LOWER DOWNTOWN CHE RRY CREEK FRONTAGE AT TH E ORIGINAL CITY HALL SITE 50

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1880 Denver has the ultimate status symbol a grand hotel. The Windsor became a reason to come to Denver a beehive of social, economic, and political activity. On the side of lilrimer Street was the Barclay Block where state legislative s essi o ns were held from 1885 1893. 1881 ':4/most ow! might the train depot replaced the stage (coach) offi c e as the nucleus of th e c it y (and) the surrounding area to greet passengers. When Union Station was completed at 17th and "Ynkoop Streets in 1881, 17th Street (Lower Downtown) emerged as the major commercial and tourist thorough fare, lined with hotels banks, shops, and saloons." -T. J. Noel: The City and the Saloon 1982 DISTRICTS 51

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52 FINANCIAL DISTRICT Wall Street of the Rockies RELATIONSHIP TO THE FRAM EWORK PLAN 17re connection S):ftem links the M all and the Financial District on lArimer, Curtis, and Califomia Streets. 77rese s treet s sho uld be enhanced, to sene as pedestrian paths, bringing people fmm rhe employme/11 ce/1/er of the core to the activity center. tire Mall. DISTRICTS CHARA C T E R SKETCH The Financial District has been understood as the business and finan cial heart of the city and the Rocky Mountain region for most of this cenrury -the Wall Street of the Rockies. It is the destination point for mos t o f the 114,000 people who work Downtown. The F inancial District is northeas t of the 16t h Street Mall and contains Denve r's tallest buildings. It is d e nse with intense vehicular and pedes trian activity a t the street level. Th e core is 17th Street, lined with major corporate and financial offices. Many of the new buildings arc clad in reflective materials, i n contrast to the masonry detail of older along the street. FINANCIAL DISTRICf FROM BROADWAY AND 1 7ni STREIIT

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ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS Beyond 17th Street the Financial District lacks distinct character as well as disceroable boundaries Development pressures have produced high land costs in the district and caused growth to extend across Broadway into the Uptown on the Hill neighborhood. Con tributing to the problems along the north and east edges of this area are a preponderance of surface parking lots, creating inhospitable street frontages and safety problems for the adjacent neighborhoods. Firm e dges to the district s hould be esta bli s hed at th e alley betw ee n Shennan and Uncoln 20th S treet Larimer, and at Colf ax Avenu e. To improve the transition between the district and adjacent n eighborhoods, development should begin to tier down in h e ight at these edges, and become l ess d ense. There is a lack of active street level uses which \\OO!d ric together activities within this district and relate it to other districts. A system of cross path s s hould be developed to establish a pedes trian Oow to th e Mall and co nnect plazas and open s pa ces. Hotel retail, and entertainm ent activities need better visib ilit y and access ibiUt y from plazas and s tre ets. Nig httim e connection s to the Mall s hould be e nhan ced Improvements to Broadwa y wou ld permit easier pedestrian Dow across it to the eas t and could be accomp l ished with landscap in g, medians and lighting Parking structures within the Financial District present blank walls to pedestrians traveling the named streets. This contributes to the lack of active street level uses and pedestrian quality connections which would tie the district together and relate it to other districts. G uidelines are need ed for parking garages in the district to pro hibit parking entrances off 1 7 th S treet ; to require active uses at ground level to animate the street; and to include facad e treat ment lan dscap ing and li g htin g l n the s tructure d es ign. 1888 Henry C. Brown, a prominent Demoer real estate developer, decided to build a hotel on a triangle of land h e owned. By 1892, both the Brown Palace and Equitable Building were open on 17th Street. 1880 The completed Union Station 17th Street from a dirt road to the mlll Street of the Rockie s. URBAN DESIGN DIAGRAM: FINANCIAL DISTRICT 53

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54 SILVER TRIANGLE Sleeping Giant RELATIONSHIP TO THE FRAMEWORK PLAN When the Fmmework is overlaid on the Sil ver Triangle, it provides the organizing ele ments for developmem that are curremly lacking i11 this district. 111e 15th Street Tmn sit Corridor and new Tmnsit M all (on California or a similar stree t ) become the main axes of the district. 111ey draw people into the distric t and are amenit ies to which developmem can auach. Improvements ro Civic Center Park, 01erry Creek and its adjacem DCPA Park 1viff enhance their influence on the surrounding wrdemrilized land. Redesigned cowrections at the C olfax cro.1sing to Civic C enter and 011 13th S treet bring the parks imo the dis trict and create a corridor flowing between r he two. Cleveland Place, California, and Cunis Street knit all those elements together to prepare the Silver Triangle to develop as a cohesive district. Cunis Street, a vilallink from the M all to DCPA, becomes an excit ing and active place, tenninating at the improved DCPA P ark. The Creek will become parr of the park, a waterfront e.:rperience that lvilltron.ifonn thattww iso lated and donnant space imo a real activity cemer. In June 1985, l oca l designers developed a plan to c onn ec t th e Mall to the D.C.P.A. Arts Complex recapturing th e excit e m e nt of Curtis Street 's historic vitality. DISTRICfS CHARACTER SKETCH The Silver T riangle is located between Cherry Creek/Speer Boulevard and lhe Retail District and is one block from lhe 16th Street Mall and is bounded by Colfax. In spite of itS location and good vehicular access, little develop ment has laken p l ace in the last decade. The district has an underuti liz.ed, low density characte r in star k contrast to lhe impos ing Financial District across lhe Mall. Acres of parking lotS exist, portraying a barren image in the Silver Triangl e, a lthough it is the most centrally loca ted area of major developable land in Downtown Currigan Hall and lhe Denver Cente r Complex (DCP A ) are located on the northwestern edge of the Si lver Triangle. T hese amenities draw hundreds of thousands of people 10 major events, but rema.in isolated and disconnected from the rest of the Down!OWII core. The distriCt contains several scanered historic and cultural facilities, along with a major open space amenity, DCP A Park. CURfiS SfREET FROM 1liE MALL TO THE ARTS COMPLEX

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ISSUES AND RECOMl\tlENDATIONS Tile Silver T riangle lacks identify and a clear role as a center i n Downtown. A perceived barrier south of 1 6th Street, it isolates the district from the floiV of activity and development. As long as the S i lver Triangle is undevel oped, most of Downtown will be separated from Cherry Creek The Silv e r Triangle is the area for the n e:
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DISTRICTS 56

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The devel opme nt of th e r apid transit sys tem in the 15th Street Corridor parallcUng the 16th Street Mall and intersecting th e California Street Mall provid es the backbone for major new development in the S ilver Triangle. DISTRICTS .. / CALIFORNIA STREET FROM SPEER BOULEVARD CALIFORNIA SfREET TRANSIT MALL 57

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58 AURARIA The Academic Villilge RELATIONSHIP TO THE FRAMEWORK PLAN To ensure a stronger physical relationship between the campus and the rest of DQIVIIfQivtl, pedestrian con nections on lArimer and Cur tis Streets should be improved. As with the Silver Triangle, its Cherry Creek fmmage is tmderwilized. lmprovemems to the campus open SJXICe system are an imegrol pan of the development of Dmvtll011'1t s connection system and its and10rs and landmarks. DISTRICTS CHARACTER SKETCH The 170-acre Auraria H igher Education Center (AHEC) is west of Speer Boulevard on the banks of Cheny Creek, bounded by 6th Street, Colfax Avenue, and Wazee Street. Most of the present campus is sparsely developed, with surface parking lots, open space, and athletic fields occupying approximately 60% of its total area. Campus buildings are low scale and generally brick. Auraria is a campus of more than 35,000 students and faculty in the University of Col orado at Denver, M etropolitan S t a t e College, and Community CoiJegc of Denver. I t is an important recreational, cultural, and economic center in Downtown, and a potentiaiJy important link in the future development of Downtown. The campus contains several significant historic buildings, including the 9th Street H istoric District Park, St. Elizabeth's, Emmanucl-Shcarith and St. Cajetan's Churches. The Brewery building, through lease arrangement, has also been restored and developed as a speciality retail and entertainment complex. AURARIA CAMPUS

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ISSUES AND RECOlVIMENDATIONS Auraria is isolated from the rest of Downtown by roadways, parking lots, and Cherry Creek. h s low-density design also discourages pedestrian linkages. The Speer Boulevard viadu c t should b e conso lidated to th e south to open up th e Creek to both the campus and Lower Downtown. lmprovements to the Creek at that point can become a unifying ment between the se dis tricts. Access improv e ments s h o uld be desigted to integrate the c ampu s with Lower Downtown, th e Silver Triangle, an d the RetaiJ District and provide qualit y vehicular access to Tivoli. Pedestrian access b etween th e campus and Downtown should b e improved with active land uses along connections on Larime r S treet and Curtis St r eet from D CPA to 6th Street. Auraria s hould be link e d to future Platte developme nt a long a lOth Street pedes trian way. T h e Eas t C l assroom Building should be reu se d to connect AHEC, th e Silver Triangle, and other Downtown dis tricts. It shoul d func tio n as th e gateway to th e campus from Downtown. Maintain and improve th e recreat ion fields w ith b e tter edges, par ticularl y along Speer. Develop this are a into a major Downtown p ark and re c reational area. DOWNTOWN CONNECTION TO AURARIA AT CHERRY CREEK WATER AMENITY 1858 Auraria is establishedthe oldest historic s ite in the city. The first log cabin school was located o n the west side of 12th, between Larimer and Market. 1860 A mild rivalry existed between Denver City and Auraria. There were many advantages to o n e combined town, and the citiuns of Auraria voted 146 t o 39 to become part of the combined Denver City. 1973 The oldest neighborhood in Denver was cleared for urban renewal and replaced by a higller education center which combines the downtown campuses Q/ Denver Communti y College, Metropolitan State College, and the U niversit y of Colorado at Denver, re.mrrecting tile name Auraria, Latin for "gold. DISTRICIS URBAN DESIGN DIAGRAM: AURARIA 59

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60 TRANSITION ZONES if every act of building, large or small, takes on the responsibility for gradually shaping its small comer of the world, then the large patterns which give so much struc tur e to a city or neighborhood can emerge." -Christopher A lexander DISTRICfS Immediately surrounding the Core Districts are a number of transition zones -deteriorated and underdeveloped areas which separate the core from the surrounding neighborhoods. The current use of this land is a conglomeration of parking lots, rail yards, and small industries. There are also enclaves of residential and entertainment uses, but the general impression is barren. The effect of the neighborhoods and downtown being isolated from each other is not only a physical barrier but a psychological barrier which translates into reduced activity, economic loss and separation from the dist inct amenities of Downtown. Th ese areas can host higher density housing than is desirable in the neighborhoods, and smaller scale business and office space than is desirable in the core, addressing the needs of businesses that seek a central location without the intensity of the core. An extension of the connection system through the Transition Zones provides a d istinctive environment and identity to which development can attach.

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GOLDEN TRIANGLE Civic Center Neighborhood RELATION SHIP TO THE FRAMEWORK PLAN 1J1e connections in the Golden Tri angle are intended to stimulate private development and specific land uses. The connections begin at the Mall and reach through Civic Center Park to the Greek 17leaJre. Leaving the park, Acoma Street becomes an enhanced path and gateway to both DuwntO\vtl and the neighborhood to the south. The historic Evans School is l ocated at the imersection of Acoma and lith Avenue. ntis imponant landmark is incorporoted imo a secondary connection alo11g lith Avenue, linking Capiro/ H ill to the east, aJUI La A lma lincoln Park to the west. A spe cially designed 11th .Avenue could include a water amenity, nmning from Acoma Street to Cherry Creek. 17te presence of the should be accentuated at the inter section of llth and Speer as the connecrion cominues into the n eighborhood 10 the west, beyond Sunken Garden. DISTRICIS CHARAC T E R SKETCH The Golden Tria n g l e is the distric t sout h and west of C i vic Center. It is bounded by major access streets into the Downtown core. Parking areas, car dealerships, and aut omobile service facilities are perhaps the strongest present use in the district. A few property owners control the majority of the district in l arge assemblages. A'> s u c h the area could change quickly. The Golden Triang l e is adjacent t o the m ost active parts of Downtown and yet iso l a ted by heavil y traveled s treets and the Civic C enter. The physical setting o f the Golden Triangle pro vides an opportunity for development of an exceptional residential character, and for office develop ment that can tap a m a rket of t e nants w h o want the advantage of centrality. without the inte n s i t y of the Downtown core. A COMA STREET C ONNECTION LOOKING TOWARD CIVIC CENTER 61

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DISTRICTS 11TH AVENUE WOKJNG WEST FROM BROADWAY _,_.__ ,_, _,-..,. __ --... -r' I UTH AVE. CONNECI'ION FROM THE EVANS SCHOOL TO CHERRY CREEK 62

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ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS Th e Golden Triangle Jacks a unique identity and role, as well as a physical and connect ion to the rest of Downt
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64 CENTRAL PLATTE VALLEY Downtown's Riverfront RELATIONSHIP TO THE FRAMEWORK PLAN 17re extension of the 16th Street Mall, rhro11gh Lower to the Cemral Platte lillley is a key element in connecting the lilliey to Downtown. A 1(11-ge urban par k sho u ld be developed behind Union Station, to strengthen Dowmmwr's connection to the waterfrom ar the Pfarte Riloer. The open space would be a recuarional ameniry to borh Dowmo1vn and adjace/11 neighborhoods. A pedestrian connection through the mid-11111') can be combined with an open space ameniry ro stimulate dn'tllopmellf in the Valley and create a magnet t o which that developmem could attach. 17liS amenity should heighten the sense of Denver's identiry and recall its ltisrory by reclaiming a powerful inmge at the river. DISTRICfS CHARACTER SKETCH The Central Platte Valley is located on the nonhem and western edges of the Downtown core, adjacent to Lower Downtown and Aura ria. It contains Denver's extensive railroad yards and separa tes Downtown from the South P lane River and the neighborhoods beyond. The Cen tral Plane Valley is the city's largest expanse of underdeveloped land, and Downtown's riverfront. It has the potential to provide some of our most enjoyable amenities and genera t e s ubstantial tax revenues. CENTRAL PLATIE VALLEY: LOOKING TOWARD DOWNTOWN FROM THE SOUTH PLATTE RIVER

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ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS T he approximately 600 acres of the Central P latte Valley presently genemt e liule activity or tax revenue for the City. EJcisting land uses arc incompatible with both the neighborhood t o the west and Down town, causing the Y.allcy to act a barrier. T h e r e d eve lopm e nt o f t h e Central P latte Valley s hould ensure that it becom es a n int eg rated part o f Downtow n and n ot an attachme nt t o it, a nd that the edges between th e Valle y a nd i ts adjace nt n e i ghborhoods a r e com pat ibl e. 1858 The history of Demer stons at what today is Confluence Pork, which commemomttS the coming together of Cherry Creek, the South Platte River. and the many different peoples who motk Dem-er happen. A city soon arose w here tepees and Contsroga wagons had once stood. IBiTJ's The Rai11"0011 Connection to Che)-enne linked Dem-er t o Eastern monufocfllr ing and Wt>stem expansion. DISTRICI'S T h e c haracter o f the VaJJcy s hould b e urba n but no t dupli ca t e th e Downt own core. S ubdistri cts th eir c h arac ter, sca l e and u ses, s h o ul d b e d e fined in an urban r e newa l plan D esig n review s h oul d be co n s id e red for all new const ruction Approximatel y 4,000..5,000 unilc; of h ous ing s hould be guaranteed in the district c l u stere d t o form n e w n e i ghborh oods. Due t o th e mag nitud e o f th e infrciSI:ructure n eeds in the \alley, its d esig n will hav e a major impact o n Downtown and Lower Dow nt ow n The traru.porta tioo !>)'Stem s erv in g the \ilJJey s hould e mph asize a ped es tri a n e n v i ro nment and co ntain adequat e ca p acit y and flexibilit y for th e future. Stro n g pedestria n co n nec tions th roug h th e dis trict are n ecessa r y t o Link Downtown and 16TH STREET MALL TERMINUS AT THE SOUT H PLATTE RIVER LOOKING TOWARD THE NORTHWEST NE I G HBORH OODS. 65

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adjacent nei ghborhoods. The conso lidation and redes i gn o f th e railroad co rridors is especially important in the e limin a ti o n o r existi n g b arriers. Th e Valley does not take advantage of the Platte riverfront, n o r does it capitalize upon unique opportunities t o serve the areas a d j a cent t o it. The present character of the area d oes not expl ai n o r reinf orce the ori g ins o f the city a t the co nflu ence o f the Pla u e River and C h erry C ree k Mit has become opporant th a t urban whether natural or artijicUJJ, arP now prime pieces of reill estate, essential ingredients In forming a com munity image, valuable stages for architectural display and great places for publi c recreation." -Grady Clay DISTRICTS A comprehensive system of ope n s pa ces s hould be d evelo ped in th e Centra l Platte '\hlley, includin g new and upgraded s pa ce, and espec iall y a l arge ope n space t o serve Downtown, the n eighbor hoods to th e west, a nd a U of centra l Denver. Development or th e district s houJd m a k e maximum use of its water a m e niti es, and capitaliz e upon the adjacent location of the sports co mplex. H istor i c structures and buildin gs s houJd be preserved to r e in force and expl a in D enver's beg innin gs. \ CENTRAL PLATf E VALLEY MID VALLEY AMENITY 66

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1887 From bull-boat to fiber glass canoe, the South Platte has floated various kinds of craft, but none more amazing than the side-wheel paddler. The owners of the ship dammed the river at 19th Street and the water backed up to 15th Street. On this lake the side-wheel paddler puffed. 1970 Joe Shoemaker's Denver Greenway project began the conversion of Dem't!r's waterways and gulches into a netwOrk of parks connected by paved recreational paths. DISTRICTS URBAN DESIGN DIAGRAM: CENTRAL PLATTE VALLEY 67

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68 ARAPAHOE TRIANGLE Original Streetcar Suburb RELATIONSHIP TO THE FRAMEWORK PLAN 111e Ampahoe Triangle is a tmnsi tion
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ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS There has been considerable land speculation in the Arapahoe Triangle, due to its location next to Downtown and its zoning. The district is primarily zoned for industrial use (B, J.l, and f). l t is no longer suitable for industrial uses because of access, the size of parcels, and existing struc turcs. There is a high vacancy rat e in this area. The exis tin g zonin g s hould be revised to su pport a mixed u se zone. In th e are a north o f Lower Downtown, a l anduse mix o f a rti s t and design studio s, housing and commerc i a l uses, s hould be e ncoura ged. Among th e a reiiS that wUI s upport reside nti a l uses, hig h-rise h o u s ing s hould be c oncentrated o n the west s id e o f Broadway. Housin g deve lopm e ut in th e U pper Larim er a rea and surr01mdin g th e C le m e n ts Distric t s hould b e compatibl e w ith hi s tori c sca l e and c hara c t e r Industrial buildings s b ould b e reused and reinforced by inflll devel op ment whic h i s c ompatibl e in heig h t and mass ing. Improvem e nt a nd renovation o f exis tin g building s and contextual infill developm e nt o f th e Larim e r S tre e t face bl ocks from 2 0th t o 23rd Stre ets, and the hi s t o ric c hara c t e r o f th e stree t s h o uld b e reinf o rced It s h o uld serve th e are a a s a n e i g hb o rho o d comme r cia l cent er. The Arapahoe Triangle is the location of and social service local bars, and pawn shops. Further concentration of shelters in this area would hinder redevelopment efforts. Discourag e furth er conc entration of incompatibl e land uses, includi n g s h e ll e r facilities, which inhibit redevel o pment efforts a nd new invest ments. Support program s s u c h a s D e n ver C. A.R. E.S. eThe area is affected by traffic passing through to Downtown. Entrances to Downtown s hould be dev eloped and the street wide n e d at 20th a nd 2 3 rd S treets. 2 3rd S treet from Broadway to the southeast should be improved to reinforce its parkway designation Preserve t h e C lock Towe r Building at Broadwa y and establish it as a Downtown g at eway CURfiS STRE E T CONNECfiON LOOKING 10WARD DOWNTOWN 1900 The Arapahoe Triangle was the locati o n of D e nver's C hinatown With the building of t he transcontinental railroad, thousands of C hinese were employed as Many of Denver's pioneer Black families chose this location because it was close to the railroad passenger yards where m a n y worked as Pullman and d ining car cooks and I n the 1970's, t h e area was proposed as an historic district a nd stil l awaits imaginative and presenationlsts. DISTRICfS URBAN DESIG N DIAGRAM: ARAPAHOE TRIANG LE \ 69

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UPfOWN ON THE HILL Mansions on the Bluff RElATIONSHIP TO TH E FRAME WORK PLAN 171e primary pedestrian link t o Dowmown is 16th Avenue between D own town and the City Park Esplantule. An additional/ink 011 Street jains the dis trier to Capitol Hill and the Arapahoe Triangle. Colfax is the retail and shopping area both for and the neighborhoods rn the south. DISTRICfS CHARACTER SKETCH Contiguous to the Financial District on the west and the Uptown neigh borhood to the east, the inner Uptown area is a transition wne between Downtown and the lower density neighborhood. While the Uptown on the Hill neighborhood i s strongly residential, the inner area, from Sher man to Emerson Streets, has been heavily affected by the expected expansion of Downtown into this area. The residential character has been broken. Surface parking lots arc common. A scattering of IOto story office buildings have been developed at the Downtown edge. The southern edge of the district is formed by Colfax Avenue, known for high traffic and continuous commercial frontage. The pedestrian and residential character of 16th Avenue have been strengthened recently with its conversion to a t\IK)-way bicycle route street. Residents are plan ning a strong connection between the 16th Street Mall and City Park. A row of new attractive restaurants is developing along 17th Avenue, drawing Downtown employees, and residents of Capitol Hill, Uptown and other neighborhoods. Many relatively small buildings and older houses have been convened to offices, preserving these historic structures but changing the character of the neighborhood. Uptown on the Hill i s thus growing into an urban village, a renewed o_n housing in a mixed-use neighborhood. Res1dents arc workmg to stab! lizc the remaining residential area by rebuilding the tr.tnsition area that has been under development pressure at its Downtown edge. 16TH AVENUE CONNE CT ION WOKING TOWARD EAST HIGH SCHOOL

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ISSUFS AND RECOMMENDATIONS lNntenues to the alley bemY!en Grant and Logan Streets. Brown straightened the diagonal street pattern of the central business district into an east-west, north-south c heckboard grid. Afte r streetcars climbed the hill, Brown's once remote bluff became the elite addition to Denver. DISTRICTS URBAN DESIGN DIAGRAM: UPTOWN 71

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n CIVIC DEVEWPMENT STRATEGY This Downtown Area Plan outlines a framework and principles for how the city should develop in the conring fifteen to twenty years. That vision will be realized as various public agencies, developers, investors, and corporate and community leaders use the Plan to guide their individual decisions. The Civic Development Strategy outli nes an approach to begin that realization. It describes the actions that are needed t o bring the Plan to life and the roles of the various stakeholders in that process. KEY PRINCIPLES Several principles guide the implementation of the Plan. The implementation of the Plan must be a public and private co-venture. fn the past, government led the way in channeling money and establishing policies which created the :.'{)CCial amenities that we typically associate with great cities. The political and economic climate in the late 1980's and probably into the 1990's, precludes the CiLy from taking the same kind of role that municipalities previously assumed. Th e Plan assumes an expanded role and responsibility by Denver's private sector Without major fmancial support from the State or federal government, action s creating r1ew policies, establishing priorities, defining the programs, and financing mechanisms will require the direct involvement of property owners and businesses in order to be successful. The development of the 16th Street Mall and the creation and funding of this Plan are two examples of how D e n ver has been able t o combine the resources of both sectors as well as Denver's philanthropic community. Communicating the ideas contained in the Plan will r equire a conct:rted effort and take many different forms. Slide s hows, exhibits on the Mall, w ritten reports, newspaper and T V coverage. and presentations to neighbor hood associations, school children, and Downtown \\-Qrkers, will all be necessary in the coming months. A summarized version of the Plan will help assure wider public involvement. Ultimat e ly, it is the belief in the Plan by individual Denver residents, OownlO\vn employees and business peo ple, that will move us to action and change. Certain recommendations contained in the Plan need t o be implemented within the next two years. Acting on these early action policies and projects wi II demonstrate the intentions of the Plan and will rally support for action on the other, longer-term priorities. A coalition of civic institutions. businesses, neighborhoods, educational groups, professional organizations, and government agencies will be necessary i n order to realize the policy changes and projects recommended. This broadbased advocacy will raise the poHtical support needed to capital funds and change existing land use policies. IMPLEMENT ATION PROC ESS Implementation of the Plan will involve four kinds of actions. All Steering Committ ee members and their consti tuent groups will be involved in each phase, but leadership will vary. C I TY C O UNCIL APPROVAL The Steering Committee will present the Downtown Area Plan to City Council for its approval and incorporation into the Comprehensive Plan Th e City will lead this effort, with support from all the interests represented in the Steering Committee. PUBLI C C O MMUNICAT ION Promoting public understatlding of the Pla n will requjre a digestible written summary of the Plan f or the public at-large, and promotional materials to increase public involvement and understanding. The Denver Partnership will lead in producing these materials, they will be used by all the Committee members and their constituent groups as each does presentntions or mailings to the community. W NG-TERM PROJECfS Many major elements of the Plan will not be built immediately. Large-scale public improvements and private development of areas like the transition zones take years to complet e In the interim actions that are taken should not preclude the general direction outlined in the plan.

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''70 dream soaring dreams is not enough. 7b have value, dreams and Ideas must be translated into the hard reality of feasible proposals. -John Simonds For some projects, such as development of the airport, this entails continuing the long process of predevelopment work. For other, newer proposals it wiU mean proceeding with more detailed planning and design work, and receiv ing public input. In these latter situations, each refinement of the vision is a step toward building it -incorporating it into the conununity's expectations of what will happen at specific sites in Downtown. As these iterations take on greater clarity, property owners can plan their developments around the public or private investments they antic ipate i n the area. All Downtown's will be involved in l ong-term efforts t o implement the Plan: i n corporating the con nection system into the neighborhood pla n s and the Comprehensive P lan; designing specific connections. water front improvements the 15th Stroct Transit Corridor and galleria, and the Denver Common. EARLY PRIORJTY P OLICIES AND PROJECTS Projects on the early action agenda will require intensive in1plementntion effort. The recommendations which merit early attention (wi thin the next five years) have these characteristics: The proposed action could be adopted, co n structed or otherwise have an impact within three to five The selected policy or project would trigger other actions sooner, particularly without additional public finan cial support. The action would establish a new standard or serve a.s a model for solving similar needs in other Downtown Financing sources for the particular recommendations are likely to be available from several organizations, including l oca l state, federal agencies, and private co ntributions, or thr o ugh special districts. The act i o n would have high public visibility to build s upport for the total Plan. The list on Lhe following page (i n no orde r of priority) i s recommended for act ion within the coming five years. 73

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74 POLICYIPROJECI' l Economic Strategy "2. Adopt regio n al transit p l an including Downtown compo n ent 3. Bottlenecks Speer/Colfax 6t h/Speer/Lincoln 8th / Bannock /Speer 19th/20th 4. Retai l developm ent Develop anc h o r s tores Develop enterta i nment ntail i n Lower Downtown and at DCPA Galler i a 5. Centralized Retail Ma n agement 6. Lower Downtown Preservatio n Policy Packag e Zoning -Demolition Review -Design Standards a n d Review Ma r keting management and economic developme n t package Econ omic generator Revolving Loan Fund -Bus iness Support Coordinator Funding d i strict U rban Design capital improvements Streetscape Creekfront -Mall extension Pooled parking RESPONSIBILITY City leadership of public/private effon RI'D, City, The Denver Fanner ship, neighborhoods, and Auraria City, State City, The Denver Partnership, a n d private developers The Denver Partnership The D e nver Pannership C ity, property own ers, preserva tion community, neighborhoods The D enver Partnership, City, an d State City, The Denver Pannershlp City, The D enver Partnership BENEFITS Assure that D<>Wntown remains a healthy economic and employment center. Move the region and Downtown toward more effective mass transit. Assure Downtown has quality access and is reinforced as the center of the region. Improve roadway access and gate ways to Downtown. New anchor stores will improve the draw to existing retail. Assures that retail can fulfill its potential as a major base for Downtown, and as a job/revenue producer. R etail district will act as a state-of the-an shopping area with com mon store h ours and promotions P reserve the fabric of the dis trict and d irec t compati ble new development. Stimulate market demand and development in Lower Downtown that reinforces it s historic c haracter Create defmable visual identity for Lower Downtown, a s timulu s and setting for redevelop ment. Create a mechanism for encourag ing smaU scale developmen t jn Lower Downtown.

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POLICY / PROJECT 7 Housing d evel opmen t 8. Redevelop C ity s it e at 14th and Larimer 9 Central Platte Valley Infr astructure Viaducts Open s pa ce syst e m Auto & pedestrian c ircu l ation tO. Civic Center de s ign and public s pace managem e nt improvements ll. C onnections Curtis Street (Mall to DCPA) C leveland Pla ce and Colfax crossing Larimer Street 12. Parking mana g ement 13. C omplete Ph ase I OCPA redeve lopm ent 3000 seat th ea tre renovat e Auditorium complete the Ga ll eria 14. Zoning revisions 87-Lower Downtown B8 G o ld e n Triang le, Arapa h oe Trian g l e BS R4 -Uptown on the Hill Ce ntral Platte Valley 15. Develop Conve nti o n Cent e r 16. Market Downtown RESPONSmiLITY Th e D enver Partnersh i p, City private developers City, privat e developers City, p roperty owners, railroads City, State, The D e n ver Partnership City, The Denver Partnership The Denver Part ners hip, C ity Cit y City property own ers City, priva t e sector The Denver Partnership BENEFITS Enhance Downtown's residentia l base, and create a bridge through the transition zones to the neigh borhoods R ecla i m this sit e as an amenity to all of Downtown. and capitalize on the Creek as an amenity. Turn the Valley into a bridge between Downtown and neighbor h oods and capital ize upo n the Platte River as an amenity. Magn ifiy existing activities and uses. s trengthen the dist rict as an u rban centerpiece. Provide Downtown with an effuc tive large p u blic gatheri n g space. Link Downtown's cui rural center to the Mall, multip lying Down town's act ivities. Connect Civic Center Park to the Mall and Silver T riangle Connect Auraria and the Creek to the Retail D istrict. Ensure that Downtown 's 38,000 parking paces -are easy to find and use, and that off-street. parking serves the shortterm market. Enha nce and e n s u re better use of the Arts Complex Expand the potential range of cultural offerings that can be accommodated. B a l a nce a n d ensure appropriate development in the core, transition zones, and neighborhoods, which are compatib l e and reinforce each other increase sales tax base and Down town activity by expanding the use of Downtown by visitors. Expand the market for Downtown development and City's tax base. 75

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76 ROLE OF THE STEERING COMMITTEE "The final t est of an economi c system is not the tons of iron, the tanks of oil, or the miles of t exti les it produces: The final t es t lies in i t s ultimate produc ts-t h e sort of m e n and women it nurtures and the orde r and the beaut y and sanit y of their communities." -Lewis Mumford I n addition to the responsibilities of Individual Steering Committee members and constituents i n implementing the Plan, there will be a continuing role for the Committee as a whole. It will meet quanerly during the first year of Plan implementation to provide a forum for reportS by members on the progress of public communication, advocacy, and specific projects and po)jcy development. Meetings will also provide an opportunity for members to alen each other to other proposal s that will affect the P lan. Beyond the first year, the Committee will meet toM> to three times per year to :report on each interest group's actions and to monitor the progress of the P lan. Ann ually the Committee may issue a progress report on implementation of the Downtown Area Plan, t o preserve the agenda in the community's consciousness CONCLUSION lmplemcnting the Downtown Area Plan will require ongoing commitment by all who care about our Downtown area. But this process is not unfamiliar. At the tum of the century u nder Mayor Speer, Denver made that gave us many of our civic assets today. M ore recently, the 16th Street Mall went some twenty years from concep tion to construction, not without controversy. A bold stroke, it met a major regional transponation need, vastly upgraded Downtown retail, and had the added effect of changing that street into the major gathering plaoe we enjoy in Downtown. I t forever changed not just the image of Downtown, but the way we use it and feel about it. 'lbday, we are at a critical and c hallenging point in Downtown's devel opment as rhe urba n center for the city, the metropolita n area, and the region. At similar times in their histories many other cities have made bold plans that altered t h eir futures. But they produced memorable cha n ges still e n joyed today, and exampl es of what planning and persistance can do. Boston landftlled an unattractive swamp, and created the Back Bay, now the site of some of its most desirable housing. The direction of the Chicago River was reversed to conven swamps to rich agricultural land, enhancing the eco nomic role of Chicago. Thlsa dammed the Arkansas River and created a one hundred acre lake and surrounding park Vancouver reclaimed False Creek and Granville I sland, convening an industrial dumping ground t o housing, parks, and a n active waterfront market. This Plan presents a vision for Downtown Denver' s next round of chaJJenges in city building. It begins a community dialogue about the nature of those challenges and the actions we should take to meet them. It is not the end of a process, but the beginning.

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DOWN'IOWN AREA PLAN SPONSOR S AETNA Life & Casually Foundation AT&T Communications Anschutz Corporation The Anschutz Family Foundation Atlantic Richfield Company Boettcher Foundation Burlington Northern Foundation Franklin Burns Foundation Central Bank of Denver Cilicorp, USA City and County of Denver Colorado Cuisine Colorado National Bank of Denv er Davis Graham & Stubbs The Denver Foundation The Denver Partnership, I nc. Denver Civic Ventures, Inc. Downtown Denver, I nc. The Denver Post First Interstate Bank of Denver Harmes C. Fishba c k Foundation Tru s t Forest Oil Corporation Frederick Ros s Company The Frost Foundation PLAN PRODUCTION PLAN GRAPHICS RobertKarn Paul Sehnert Jacquie Anderson Sara Jane Seward Anthony Chan Gary Zehnpfennig REND ERING Ken Berendt Robert Karn Paul Sehnert COMPUTE R IMAGES Genigraphics Cor poration Skidmore Owings & Merrill (Computer Ba se Maps) Gibson Dunn & Crutcher Hamilton Oil Corporation The H eitler Fund Gerald D. Hines I nterests Holme Roberts & Owen Hunt A l ternatives Fund Inter-Regional Financial Group Foundation King Soopers, Inc. Mountain Bell Foundation National Institute for Dispute Resolution National nust for H i storic Preservation Oxford Properties, I nc. Peat Mar wick Mitchell & Co. Philip Morris Foundation The Pilon Foundation Publi c Service Company of Colorado Sun Exploration & Production Company Trizec Properties, J nc. Touche Ross & Cn. United Bank of Denver, N.A. United Bank of Skyline, N.A. Urban Mass lhlnsit Administration Weckbaugb Foundation I nc. PHOI'OGRAPHY Jacquie Anderso n 'Tessa Dalton Robert Kam Sara Jane Seward Jerry Down s Landis Aerial Photography Oxford Properties Inc. The Rouse Company State Historical Society Western Hist ory Museum PUBLICATION Layout: Robert Karn, Jacquie Anderson, Brian Ehlers Design Printing: Sprint Litho & Label Color Separation: Capitol Engraving Company l}lpesetting: Campro